Another wrinkle in the ongoing soap opera of Uber for the last few months seems to be starting out this week as Uber president Jeff Jones announced his resignation. Jones has been with Uber for slightly less than a year.
According to internal sources, Jones’ choice to leave was directly informed by the string of controversies that have exploded around Uber of late — including allegations of rampant sexism and sexual harassment. That sentiment seems to be confirmed by a statement on his resignation that Jones offered to Recode.
“It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business.”
Jones, internal sources further elaborated, felt the situation at Uber was not what he had signed on for — and the decision to leave was cemented by the announcement the firm was seeking a COO to “put the ship to right.”
Cemented, but not caused, according to those unnamed sources, as the central issue for Jones was the reportedly dysfunctional corporate culture that was far more problematic than he had anticipated when he signed on.
And that sign-on, notably, came with great fanfare as Jones was initially hired away from Target, where he was the firm’s well regarded and respected CMO. His job, at hire, was to help Uber reform its image, which had already started taking a series of tough hits as of last year.
Jones spent much of the beginning of his tenure as the president of ride-sharing driving for Uber and meeting with drivers, after which he sent drivers an email about what he learned and what the company intends to do.
“It’s clear that there’s much we can be doing better. Listening is where we get our best ideas, because they come from you, the people using Uber every day,’ he wrote.
But those attempts to reach out to drivers also backfired some when Jones saw his Facebook page defaced with lots of angry remarks from dissatisfied drivers. The situation further deteriorated when a former engineer released a blog post that indicated Uber’s management is involved in some kind of internal competition to see if they can be both the most sexist company on earth — and also the most incompetently run.
That blog post saw the head of engineering canned for failing to disclose prior allegations of sexual harassment at a previous job and the head of product resigning in advance of getting the sack for questionable sexual behavior at a company event.