Uber loses 2 leading officers one month after the business’s rocky IPO

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is shocking the business’s management.


James Martin/CNET

Uber verified 2 top-level executives are leaving the business — the 2nd in command, Chief Operating Officer Barney Harford, and its head of marketing, Rebecca Messina. The objective appears to be to combine Uber’s groups and have their leaders report straight to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

“This will allow me to be more hands on and help our leaders problem-solve in real time,” Khosrowshahi composed in an e-mail to staff members on Friday, which was seen by CNET.

The shakeup comes as Uber has actually experienced a rocky very first month on the stock exchange. When the ride-hailing business released its going public at the start of May, its shares began trading lower than anticipated, at $42. And it’s been rough since, with shares still hardly striking Uber’s $45 IPO cost. 

“The timing of these executives departures so soon after the IPO will raise some eyebrows for investors and add more pressure on Dara,” Wedbush expert Ygal Arounian stated in a financiers keep in mind. But “we would rather management rip the Band-Aid off and make these changes now.”

Harford signed up with Uber as its COO in December 2017. At the time, Khosrowshahi was working to correct the alignment of the business’s course after months of scandals. The 2 executives had actually formerly interacted for numerous years at the online travel website Expedia.

Things have not always been smooth for Harford at Uber. Last July, he was implicated of making insensitive remarks about ladies and individuals of color at the business. He stayed COO and stated he’d be dealing with a coach to “confront my blind spots.”

In the e-mail to staff members Friday, Khosrowshahi stated that due to the fact that of his brand-new hands-on method, he and Harford concurred that the COO position “no longer makes sense.”

“Barney is a talented businessperson, and I can’t thank him enough for all of his contributions in helping get us to and through the IPO,” Khosrowshahi composed. “On a personal level, I’ve appreciated his strategic mind, analytical chops and unflagging passion and efforts for our mission.”

Messina’s position likewise seems civilian casualties in Uber’s reorganization. She was its very first chief marketing officer and had actually been at the business for just 9 months. In the e-mail, Khosrowshahi stated he’s integrating the marketing, interactions and policy groups into one, which will now be led by Jill Hazelbaker, who was Uber’s senior vice president of interactions and public law.

“Given this, Rebecca and I have agreed it makes sense for her to move on,” Khosrowshahi composed.

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

Originally released June 7, 2: 48 p.m. PT.
Update, 4: 06 p.m.:  Includes extra background info.    

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