Uber’s COO and CMO step down as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi seeks more control of company

As Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi seeks to take more control of the company’s operations, the ride hailing major’s Chief Operating Officer Barney Harford and Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Messina are stepping down.

According to a report, Khosrowshahi wrote to employees in an email saying that he decided the heads of Uber’s core businesses should report to him directly. He also reportedly wrote that Uber’s progress now gives him the time to be more directly involved in the company’s day-to-day operations.

“Over the years, I’ve learned that at every critical milestone, it’s important to step back and think about how best to organize for the future. Given that we’re a month past the IPO, now is one of those times, and I’ve been discussing this topic a lot with Barney and the leadership team,” TechCrunch quotes Khosrowshahi as writing in the email.

And given this change in the organisational structure, he said that Harford agreed that the role of a chief operating officer didn’t make sense anymore and decided to leave the company.

Harford was hired by former CEO Travis Kalanick and has been with the company for around 18 months. Prior to that he also worked as an adviser to Uber.

As part of the same overhaul, Khosrowshahi also decided to combine Uber’s marketing, communications and policy teams, which according to him would help maintain a “unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press, and policymakers.” And so, Khosrowshahi reportedly said that the chief marketing officer Messina agreed with him that its time for her to move on. That team will now be led by Jill Hazelbaker, who was serving as senior vice president of communications and public policy prior to this overhaul.

Messina joined Uber in September and was the first person to hold the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Uber. Messina, who earlier worked with Coca-Cola was brought on to help repair Uber’s reputation after it was tainted by several scandals leading to the exit of Travis. She also oversaw marketing for Uber as it prepared for its IPO.

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