Although Uber did not give any reason for Jones’ exit from the company, the fact that he quit before seven months is telling.
Uber Technologies took a major hit with its president Jeff Jones leaving the company for greener pastures. Jones was a key figure since being a marketing expert, he was hired to help the company soften its abrasive image.
Uber’s spokesman stated that Jones quit the company in less than seven months from joining.
Although the reason(s) for his departure aren’t clear, but the vacuum left behind can clearly be felt. Earlier last month, the company launched a search for a COO who could help run the company alongside Travis Kalanick, Uber’s Chief Executive.
Jones had earlier taken up some of the COO responsibilities at Target Corp where he was the company’s marketing chief. He is credited with modernizing Target’s retail brand.
“We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best,” said a spokesman from Uber in an emailed statement.
Jones’ departures is the latest in a string of high-level executives leaving the tech company. Last month, Ed Baker, Uber’s VP of products and growth left, followed by Charlie Miller, Uber’s security research.
Uber has acquired a reputation of being an aggressive and unapologetic startup. In the last several weeks it has been dragged through a series of controversies all of which have placed Kalanick’s leadership qualities into question.
The company’s future is now at stake.
Last month a former employee published a blog which described sexual harassment being common in Uber’s workplace. The post prompted an internal investigation and the matter is now being looked into by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Bloomberg’s video of Kalanick berating an Uber driver also didn’t draw the company any brownie points. Kalanick was forced to make a very public apology.
Furthermore, a few weeks back Uber confirmed that it was using “Greyball,” tech to evade authorities in cities where its services have been banned.
After the disclosure, Uber clamped down on its usage.
Uber is also facing a lawsuit from Alphabet self-driving car division on account of stealing designs of Lidar, a technology which is key to autonomous cars. Uber has maintained that these claims are false.