Uber's President Jeff Jones left the company after only six months at its helm, the San Francisco-based tech giant confirmed in a statement. Recode initially broke the news of his departure, after which Uber's Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick sent an internal memo to his staff expressing regret that the announcement was made through the press, adding that Jones left the company of his own volition following the management's decision to hire a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Uber's former President also confirmed he's leaving the company following Kalanick's statement, citing differences between his and the firm's beliefs and leadership philosophies as the main reasons for his departure.
Kalanick previously decided to find a new COO following a number of controversies due to which the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company made a lot of headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months. Industry sources previously told Recode that while a new COO would technically outrank Jones, Uber's former President decided to leave as he realized that the company is facing problems that are much more severe than he initially thought and his decision wasn't directly related to Kalanick's decision to hire another high-ranking official. Jones joined Uber from Target where he successfully served as Chief Marketing Officer for approximately half a decade. Given his past accomplishments, Kalanick hired Jones in an effort to improve Uber's public image that recently endured a number of hits following a sexual harassment scandal that saw the company's Senior Vice President of Engineering resign. Additionally, Uber was recently served with a lawsuit from the Alphabet-owned Waymo that alleges the company stole its LiDAR designs and some other trade secrets. If successful, the lawsuit may severely hinder Uber's efforts to commercialize its self-driving vehicle fleet that was recently in the center of another controversy as the San Francisco-based firm was arguing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) over testing licenses it initially refused to acquire.
Overall, Uber seems to be in for a rough year if the company cannot find a solution to deal with the new difficulties it's now facing and the fact that the one person who was supposed to help with that just left the company can't be good news for its future endeavors.