Uber has announced that the company has a new VP joining their team. It's Frances Frei, who was a Harvard Business Professor, and is joining the ride-sharing company as its senior vice president of Leadership and Strategy. In an announcement on its newsroom, Uber noted that Frei will be reporting directly to the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick. Frei will be working as a partner to Uber's Chief Human Resources Officer, Liane Hornsey, and working with the executive leadership team at large. Frei will be focusing on a few critical areas in the company, which includes strategy and planning, organizational transformation and design, management and leadership, coaching, supporting and developing a world-class leadership team, and finally, to help articulate and architect a cultural philosophy.
Frei is joining a struggling startup. While Uber does have a huge user-base, there have been a number of topics in the news lately about Uber that has painted it in a bad picture, unfortunately. Between the sexual assault from (and allowed by) the company's CEO, Kalanick, its ongoing lawsuit with Waymo, and underpaying their drivers in some cities, Uber is in need of some leadership. And judging by the role that Frei is playing at Uber, it appears that the company believes she is the one to straighten things out a bit. She has already spent many hours with the company's leadership team over the past few months, to help understand the company. So that she will be off to a fast start at Uber.
Uber has also had a pretty massive exodus of top-level executives in 2017. Losing a handful of them in just the first half of the year. The latest to leave was their head of finance, after having been without a CFO for almost a year. Frei is the first executive the company has hired in quite some time, and the company does still have quite a few spots to fill. Frei looks to be a perfect fit as a SVP of Leadership and Strategy at Uber, as it appears pretty clear that the company is in need of some employees and executives that do have leadership skills.