Uber is now lacking a COO, CTO, and CPO, among other high profile executive exits (UBER)


Dara Khosrowshahi

  • With the resignation of Uber’s long-time CTO, the company is now without at chief operating officer, a chief product officer, a chief marketing officer, and a chief technology officer.
  • Uber has suffered other notable executive departures too in engineering, Uber Eats and its mobility unit, although those roles have not been left unfilled.
  • When employees asked Uber’s CEO to share more information with them about impending layoffs at an all-hands meeting on Tuesday, he told them he couldn’t.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

At an all-hands meeting on Tuesday, nervous Uber employees asked CEO Dara Khosrowshahi if he could commit to transparency about layoffs, to let people know what the basic plans are so employees could focus on their work.

He told them because Uber was a public company, he couldn’t do that. 

“We can’t communicate things before we do them,” he said, according to multiple sources. “We’re a public company and we’re going to communicate in the right way at the right time.”

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Uber employees for years. On February 6, just before the COVID-19 crises gobsmacked the world, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reported a better than expected 2019 fourth quarter and promised investors that the company was finally on the path to growth and profitability.

“With many of the onetime changes from 2019 behind us, we’re excited to sharpen our focus on execution to grow our business at massive scale, innovate faster than anyone else, improve margins considerably, allocate our capital effectively and efficiently and do the right thing for all of our constituencies, ultimately driving to excellent revenue growth and profitability,” he told investors on the quarterly conference call, according to Seeking Alpha, keeper of such transcripts.

A few days later the coronavirus struck.

Flash forward to the end of April and the company’s bread-and-butter rideshare business has been tanked by stay-at-home orders that has turned bustling cities into ghosts of their former selves.

Uber revoked its previous guidance and we’ll get our first peek at the financial damage when the company reports its next quarter on May 7.

Management is discussing layoffs, a source familiar with the situation told Business Insider. 

Cuts could be as deep as 20%, The Information reported Tuesday.

When asked about layoffs, a spokesperson told Business Insider’s Graham Rapier, “As you would expect, the company is looking at every possible scenario to ensure we get to the other side of this crisis in a stronger position than ever.”

Meanwhile, when it comes time to rebuild the company, its executive bench has never been thinner.

On Tuesday, Uber announced that its chief technology officer and longest-serving executive, Thuan Pham, is resigning. Pham was an iconic and powerful figure at the company. His last day will be May 16.

This leaves Uber without a COO, a chief product officer, and a chief technology officer.

COO Barney Harford, who joined in January 2018 left in June. So did Rebecca Messina, who was chief marketing officer since October 2018.

The company hasn’t hired a new CMO, although that team now reports to vice president Jill Hazelbaker, who also runs PR. Hazelbaker is the only remaining executive who also served under Travis Kalanick 

CPO Manik Gupta, who joined in 2015, left in November and hasn’t been replaced.

Engineering vice president, Matthew Mengerink, who ran core-infrastructure engineering, also left in March. 

Other notable departures include long-time executive Rachel Holt, who ran Uber’s bike and scooter operations and partnerships with public transit organizations. She left in January. Dennis Cinelli has replaced her.

And Jason Droege, who ran Uber Eats, left in February, with Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty replacing him.

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