In a major leadership reorganization, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has eliminated the position of chief operating officer and consequently, Barney Harford, who was named in the role in January 2018, has stepped down.
In addition, Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Messina will also be leaving the ride-hailing company as Khosrowshahi combines the company's marketing, communications and policy teams into one. This team will be led by Jill Hazelbaker.
The overhaul comes as Dara wants to take more control of operations and is overhauling the ride-hailing company's leadership to deal with brand challenges as per an internal memo accessed by Reuters.
Khosrowshahi wrote in an email to employees, “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. I now have the ability to be even more involved in the day-to-day operations of our biggest businesses, the core platform of Rides and Eats, and have decided they should report directly to me.”
Prior to Uber, Harford was the CEO and board director of Orbitz Worldwide from 2009 to 2015, while Messina, Uber's first-ever chief marketing officer, joined from spirits maker Beam Suntory. Prior to that, she had spent 22 years at Coca-Cola Co.
The shakeup comes in the footsteps of Uber underperforming in its first month as a public company, as investors raise questions about its ability to turn profitable someday. How soon will greater involvement of Dara help Uber turn a page, is something which will be keenly looked at.
Image Credits: CNN