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After Short-Lived Tenure, Uber President Quits Amid Company Turmoil

Former Target CMO Jeff Jones was hired by Uber to help support the embattled company's reputation.

Former Target CMO Jeff Jones was hired by Uber to help support the embattled company's reputation.

Cindy Ord, Getty Images for Target

After less than a year as president of Uber, Jeff Jones is leaving the embattled ride-hailing company, Uber confirms.

“We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best,” an Uber spokesperson says in a statement.

Jones, previously Target’s chief marketing officer, was brought on by Kalanick last fall to boost Uber’s reputation.

Though Uber has long held its reputation as an aggressive startup, the company has been battling current controversies, ranging from sexual harassment allegations to CEO Travis Kalanick’s abrasive behavior.

After a video surfaced earlier this year, showing Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver, the CEO admitted he needed leadership help, and announced his search for a new chief operating officer.

While that hunt appeared to threaten Jones’ role as second in command to Kalanick, in a statement to Recode, Jones simply says his leadership approach is “inconsistent” with what he saw happening at Uber. Recode first reported Jones’ departure on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a note to staff: “After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn’t see his future at Uber.”

A number of recent scandals plague Uber, including:

  • Earlier this year, a social media campaign encouraged consumers to #DeleteUber after CEO Travis Kalanick joined President Trump’s economic council
  • Last month, former Uber employee Susan Fowler Rigetti published a blog post describing systemic sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace. The viral post prompted Uber to launch an independent investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder
  • Earlier this month, The New York Times exposed Uber’s secret “Greyball” program, established in 2014 to evade authorities worldwide in cities where the service has been banned. Uber has since announced it will prohibit the use of the program

Jones joins a list of recent top executives to leave the company. Engineering executive Amit Singhal was asked to resign after failing to disclose a sexual harassment claim from his previous job at Google. This month, Uber’s vice president of product and growth Ed Baker stepped down, in addition to security researcher Charlie Miller’s departure.

Last month, Uber employees spoke with CNNTech about the company’s culture and work-life balance — or lack thereof.

“If you’re going to leave, people do so within the first year because the pace isn’t what they expected or what they’re used to,” said Neal Narayani, Uber’s head of people analytics.

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