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Uber COO And CMO Switch Out

Two big C-Suite positions announced they were stepping down from Uber last week. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Barney Harford and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Rebecca Messina will both be leaving the company.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in a company-wide email that the progress the firm has made gives him additional time to take a more direct role in day-to-day operations. The email further noted that heads of Uber’s core businesses will heretofore report directly to Khosrowshahi.

“This will allow me to be more hands-on and help our leaders problem-solve in real time, while also ensuring that we make our platform vision a reality,” he said.

That structural change, Khosrowshahi wrote, means that the COO role “no longer makes sense,” and so Harford decided it was time for him to exit the company.  As part of the same restructuring, Uber’s marketing, communications and policy teams have all been compressed into a single department — in order to maintain a “unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press, and policymakers,” according to Khosrowshahi.  That team will be lead by Jill Hazelbaker, previously the senior vice president of communications and public policy.  Like Harford, in light of the new shuffle, Messina agreed that her CMO position at the firm no longer quite fit and therefore “it makes sense for her to move on.”

The restructuring comes about a month after the ride-hailing company went public.

“There’s never really a right time to announce departures or changes like this, but with the IPO behind us, I felt this was a good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future,” Khosrowshahi said.

Shares of Uber slipped about 1 percent as the executive shakeup announcement went public. Khosrowshahi has confirmed he will answer employee questions at an all-hands meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

 

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