Uber's PR head resigns amid tumultuous time for company

Apr 13, 2017, 01:32
Uber's PR head resigns amid tumultuous time for company

Rachel Whetstone, who led policy and communications under Kalanick, resigned on Tuesday after nearly two years at Uber.

In an email to staff, the BBC reported Kalanick wrote: "I am looking forward to having her as an advisor for years to come ... with many more long hikes along the Skyline Trail", attaching a picture of himself and Whetstone on a recent hiking trip.

"I wanted to let you know that Rachel Whetstone, who heads up policy and communications globally, has chose to leave Uber", wrote Kalanick.

Whetstone will be replaced by her deputy Jill Hazelbaker. She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an incredible player-coach who has built a first-class organization. "It comes less than two months after Travis Kalanick, chief executive, promised an overhaul of the company's culture in the wake of damning allegations by a former female programmer about a culture that was hostile to women, including a failure to deal with sexual harassment allegations", points out Richard Waters for Financial Times. Apparently, some investors though that Uber's woes were in some way the result (and not the cause!) of bad press.

She marks the most recent executive to depart the company.

Ed Baker, the vice president of product and growth, left a few days later.

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Global communications head Rachel Whetstone has resigned after less than two years in the job. Uber President Jeff Jones, who had been recruited from Target, left in March after only six months.

Whetstone confirmed that she's leaving and in her comments, she proved that just because you quit a company it doesn't mean that you have to stop spinning. The company even has a special hashtag, #DeleteUber, dedicated to it on social media, consolidating anti-Uber sentiment. The dashboard cam video showed a heated argument on Uber's history of lowering fares.

Uber is also fighting a lawsuit against Alphabet's self driving vehicle unit, Waymo, which is accusing Uber of stealing trade secrets.

The footage, which was obtained by Bloomberg, shows Kalanick yelling at Mr Kamel, who accused him for "bankrupting" him by lowering the "prices" of black vehicle rides, the company's high end chauffeur service.

None of this reflects in Kalanick's statement about the departure. He later issued an apology and vowed to get "leadership help". Kalanick was of the view that drivers should take responsibility to own problems and not blame Uber for that.