The Head of Uber’s fast-growing food delivery business in Europe, Jambu Palaniappan has quit the company to become a venture capitalist, as first reported by Sky News.
In an internal company memo written by VP of Uber Everything Jason Droege, it said, "After more than 5 years leading Uber and UberEats businesses in all corners of the globe, Jambu Palaniappan has decided to embark on a new adventure to pursue his passion working with the startup community at a leading European venture capital firm."
Uber has been through difficult times ever since Susan Fowler’s sexual accusation blog-post hit the social media. After that Travis Kalanick’s altercation with an Uber driver, executives being dismissed over obtaining the medical records of rape victim, resignation of Kalanick to losing its operating licence in London – Uber has had quite a rough year.
Palaniappan joined Uber in July 2012 to help the company launch its taxi service in countries outside the US. In June 2013, he was appointed to lead Uber's expansion in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and India. Palaniappan also led Uber’s expansion into India in 2013 and was the head of its core transport business in EMEA before becoming regional general manager for the online taxi service in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2014 to mid-2016. In July 2016, he was appointed to lead Uber's food delivery business, UberEats, in EMEA. At the time, UberEats was operational in a small number of cities.
"Despite operating in a highly competitive region, Jambu and his team have built a business that continues to grow," the memo reads. "We're seeing extraordinary growth (even by our standards) in the region. Since Jambu joined mid-2016, EMEA Eats has grown 18x."
Here’s the letter than Jambu Palaniappan wrote, as published by Business Insider:
As I've just shared in our all-hands meeting this morning, after five incredible years at Uber it's time for me to start a new journey. I'm so grateful for the experience, thankful to you all for your contributions, and proud of what we've achieved over the last five years in both the Rides and Eats business across EMEA. Working with you all at Uber has been one of the great privileges of my life.
When I joined this company in 2012, Uber was just a small startup with 75 employees focused primarily on the US. I was living in San Francisco and was excited about the prospect of helping a company scale globally. I packed up my flat in 24 hours and was fortunate to begin a journey that took me to 35 countries around the world over the next several years.
I will always have fond memories of the many milestones that we’ve achieved together: my first role as a launcher and launch manager included starting Uber in my parents' hometown in India, as Regional General Manager for Eastern Europe, the Middle East & Africa we brought accessible transportation to some of Uber's fastest growing cities globally, and we started and scaled UberEATS across EMEA.
While I learned so much about how dynamic and unique cities and countries around the world are, I also learned that technology can be a powerful equalizer, bringing mobility opportunities and economic empowerment from Johannesburg to Cairo to Lahore, and magical food delivery experiences from London to Warsaw and beyond.
Over the last few months, I've had an opportunity to think about my interests and where I'd like to focus in the future. I like building new businesses and companies, and have been offered an opportunity to do more of that. Leaving Uber was an extremely difficult decision, but I'm excited about the prospect of pursuing my passions of supporting early stage businesses working with a venture capital firm in London.
More than anything, I will truly miss working with you all. Your passion, effort, commitment and resolve has motivated and inspired me since day one. If I can ever be helpful to any of you in your professional or personal journeys, I would be happy to do so.
Thanks for your faith in me, and your commitment to Uber; I will be forever grateful.