Jeff Jones, Uber's president, is quitting the company, citing differences over beliefs and leadership approaches as the compelling reasons for his exit. Him vacating his post comes at a very pressing time for Uber, as the company has been awash with several controversies that have illustrated how alarming its workplace culture is.
Uber's Jeff Jones Exits The Company
Moreover, Jones's exit comes just six months after he was hired, and according to reports, his decision to leave is directly tied to the company's multiple controversies, including damning charges of sexist workplace abuse and sexual harassment — a whistle blown by a former Uber engineer in a scathing blog post.
As per a report by Recode, Uber corroborated news of Jones's departure in a statement, offering him a gentle farewell message. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stated in a note to staff that Jones "doesn't see his future at Uber." Hence the departure.
Jones, however, has now offered a more specific set of reasons, telling Recode in a statement that "the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber."
Jones, according to sources, said that Uber's mounting roster of troubling controversies wasn't what he signed up for, especially after the fact that Kalanick decided to survey for a new chief operating officer for aid. Recode's sources said, however, that this was not the reason for Jones's departure per se but that Uber is facing current situations that was more problematic than Jones realized.
Controversies Inside Uber's Workplace
At the beginning of the year, Uber faced claims that it was taking advantage of Trump's controversial immigration ban, with it allegedly leveraging the situation for business purposes. This prompted the #DeleteUber campaign, which saw over 200,000 Uber users uninstall the app entirely from their devices. The campaign flared up once more when Susan J. Fowler, the aforementioned former Uber engineer, published a revelatory blog post about Uber's sexist workplace culture and many instances of ignored and downplayed sexual harassment reports.
It's also facing pressure on other aspects, with Google currently suing the company for allegedly stealing its self-driving technology. Alphabet, Google's parent company, is claiming that executives at Otto, a self-driving truck startup Uber acquired, took Google's trade secrets with them. Waymo filed for an injunction against Uber this month, and the legal battle is still ongoing.
Jones's exit, however, isn't the only one in such a short span of time. Google's former Amit Singhal didn't leave but was asked to resign from Uber at the end of February over reports that he failed to disclose to Uber about the sexual harassment claim back when he was working at Google. Raffi Krikorian, one of Uber's top self-driving engineers, has also exited, among many others.
Jones, upon being hired, spent much of his initial stint as Uber's president for the ride-hailing company, in which he drove for Uber and even met with Uber drivers. He then sent an email about what he learned out of those discussions, alongside what the company intends to do.
It's unclear what holds in the future for Uber in light of its increasing trouble spots. Others have already predicted its doom, however.