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Thursday, 15 June 2017 15:41

Uber Leadership Shakeups & Key Open Roles

Written by Dora Vell
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Uber Technologies’ month's long investigation into its own culture has now extended into its most senior ranks.  

The Holder Investigation Findings. On Tuesday morning (June 13th, 2017), former US Attorney General, Eric Holder and his law firm issued a report with 13 recommendations, as published by the New York Times Link to Eric Holder's Report Recommendations by NYT). The recommendations included transferring some of the CEO’s responsibilities to the COO and appointing an independent Chairman.  

Uber Technologies’ CEO Travis Kalanick, 40, has stepped down from his role. He will continue to serve on the board of directors.  Five of the major shareholders in the company – Benchmark Capital, Fidelity, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital and Menlo Ventures, demanded the CEO’s resignation. 

Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009 and led it to be the largest U.S. ride-hailing service and among the biggest globally. Prior to Uber, he co-founded Red Swoosh in 2001 that specialized in file-sharing technology and managed to sell it to Akamai Technologies for nearly $19 million in 2007. Before Red Swoosh, he co-founded Scour with his UCLA batch mates in 1998 which offered an Internet search engine and file-sharing services.

CEO Travis Kalanick had announced earlier this month that he would take an indefinite leave from the company, to reflect on the ongoing changes and to grieve the death of his mother, according to CNN Money. The company was decided to be run by a management committee as it tries to navigate the wave of scandals.  

In addition, the investigations into 215 harassment complaints have resulted in 20 employees leaving Uber. In addition, 31 people were put in training or counseling. 57 harassment complaints are still open, which could possibly trigger more departures.

Uber Board Changes.  While announcing the findings of the investigation, Uber board member, and  investorDavid Bonderman, 74, founder of private equity firm TPG was cited saying having more women on the board would just lead “to more talking.”  He soon after resigned from the board, calling his comment "careless, inappropriate and inexcusable."

TPG Capital elected David Trujillo, 40, as new Uber board member replacing Bonderman. Trujillo is a Partner at TPG, where he leads TPG's Internet, digital media, and communications investing efforts across the firm’s Growth and Capital platforms. Prior to joining TPG in 2006, David was a VP and Associate at GTCR Golder Rauner.

Benchmark Capital Partner Bill Gurley, 51, is also leaving Uber’s board and will be replaced by another Benchmark Partner Matt Cohler, 40. 

At Benchmark, Gurley has led investments in and holds board seats on Brighter, DogVacay, GrubHub, HackerOne, Linden Lab, LiveOps, Nextdoor, OpenTable, Sailthru, Scale Computing, Stitch Fix, Vessel, and Zillow, among many earlier ones. Before joining Benchmark in 1999, Gurley was a partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. He had also spent four year and was a Research Analyst on Wall Street including three years at CS First Boston. 

Cohler is a venture capitalist based in Silicon Valley. He served as VP of Product Management for Facebook till June 2008.

Nestlé SA Wan Ling Martello, 59, is the latest addition to Uber's board. She is now the second female voting board member next to media magnateArianna Huffington, 66. Martello is the current EVP and Head of the Asia Zone and previously served as CFO for Nestlé. She was CFO at Wal-Mart’s international division. She also sits on the board of Alibaba Group.

Notable additions and one notable promotion

  • Apple’s Bozoma Saint John, 40 years old, and a woman of color is now Uber’s Chief Brand Officer. 
  • Liane Hornsey, 57, long time VP at Google VP and Softbank executive,  joined Uber as CHRO in November 2016.  She has quite the culture and recruiting challenge ahead of her.
  • HBS Professor Frances Frei, joins Uber as SVP Leadership & Strategy, reporting to the CHRO. She is known for her expertise in service management.
  • Salle Yoo, General Counsel, was promoted to Chief Legal Officer.
  • Uber has also hired Facebook product executive Peter Deng to head up its rider product.

Notable Departures

  • Jeff Jones, 48, President and at Uber only 6 months, left the company amidst allegations of sexism and sexual harassment, according to RECODE.
  • Eric Alexander, President of Business in APAC, left in June after he was alleged to check the medical records of a woman raped in 2014 by an Uber driver in India.
  • Emil Michael, 44, Uber’s chief business officer, left the company after the June 13th board meeting.  David Richter, Uber’s Chief Strategy Officer and employee since 2014, is stepping into the role.
  • Interim CFO since 2015 Gautam Gupta left to join the start-up, Opendoor.  Finance is now run by Prabir Adarkar, head of strategic finance.
  • Amit Singhal, 49, SVP of engineering, left in February, after he failed to disclose he left Google in a dispute over a credible sexual harassment allegation.
  • Rachel Whetstone, 49, SVP, Policy and Communications left Uber in April, after growing tensions with the leadership. Jill Hazelbaker, 35,  takes over,  heading the  300-person organization.
  • Ed Baker, Uber's VP of product and growth left in April. The former Facebook exec had been with Uber since 2013. Daniel Graf took over as acting head of product and growth. 
  • Uber’s New York GM, Josh Mohrer, left to join Tusk ventures and is replaced by Sarfarz Maredia, GM in Houston, Texas. 

Left Uber and Named in the Google Lawsuit

  • Anthony Levandowski, 37, Head of Self-Driving Unit was fired in May after not co-operating with the lawsuit from Google regarding self-driving cars. He had collected $120m from Google, before leaving for Uber, where he was given $250m in stock grants. 
  • Brian McLendon, VP of Mapping, left amicably in March to go back to his home in Kansas. This departure doesn’t appear to be related to the current situation, but he was named in the Google lawsuit.
  • Raffi Krikorian, 39, announced in February he was leaving for “personal reasons”

 Uber's key roles now open

  • include CEO, Chief Diversity Officer, CFO, CMO, COO, General Counsel and SVP, Engineering.
Read 2292 times Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2020 11:14

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