Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has recently announced that chief operating officer Barney Harfordand chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina are both departing the company.
In a Friday email to employees, Khosrowshahi said, “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.”
Harford became COO in December 2017, with Uber receiving criticism for the choice after it was initially believed Uber’s board was seeking a female executive to fill that role.
Khosrowshahi is sending Harford off with an appreciative note in the staff email. “Barney is a talented businessperson, and I can’t thank Barney enough for all of his contributions in helping us get to and through the IPO,” he wrote.
“On a personal level, I’ve appreciated his strategic mind, analytical chops, and unflagging passion and efforts for our mission.” The reason for Harford’s stepping down is an apparent consensus that “the COO role no longer makes sense” at Uber. Harford and Khosrowshahi’s relationship dates back a decade to when the two were competing against each other as the CEOs of Orbitz and Expedia, respectively.
“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,” Khosrowshahi wrote.
“This will allow me to be more hands on and help our leaders problem-solve in real time, while also ensuring that we make our platform vision a reality.” he added.
Also, Rebecca Messina, is leaving the company less than a year after being hired as chief marketing officer as a result of Uber consolidating its policy, communications, and marketing teams into one division led by Jill Hazelbaker.
“Since joining Uber nearly four years ago, Jill has been instrumental in addressing some of our toughest challenges as a company. She’s an excellent team builder and always committed to doing what’s best for Uber.”