Uber’s Top Ranks Thin Out as CEO Travis Kalanick Steps Away

By Ellen HuetEllen Huet and Mira RojanasakulMira Rojanasakul
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Since February, Uber Technologies Inc. has faced a steady stream of scandals and controversy: allegations of harassment and discrimination, a corporate theft lawsuit, allegedly deceiving authorities, a video of the ride-hailing giant’s co-founder arguing with a driver and a director making a sexist comment at a staff meeting to address issues of sexism.

During that same time, almost a dozen senior executives marched out—or were frog-marched to the door. A few left amicably, but others, such as former self-driving unit head Anthony Levandowski and former head of business Emil Michael, were ousted in relation to legal or cultural problems at the company. In response, Uber made some key outside hires to reform the company’s strategy and brand. But the departures continued: in August, Ryan Graves, Uber's first employee and a longtime board member, also stepped down from his management role.

Slew of Recent Departures Culminates with Kalanick Resignation

New Hire

Departures

Leave of Absence

Hires

Departures

2017

Ryan Graves

SVP of Global Operations

Graves, the first employee at Uber, announced his resignation from management positions but will stay on the board. (August 10)

August

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

Following pressure from investors, Kalanick announced his full resignation—though he will stay on as a board member (June 20). A current lawsuit threatens to have him removed from the board (August 10).

David Bonderman

Board Member

Resigned after audio was leaked of a sexist remark he made at a company-wide meeting (June 13)

July

Wan Ling Martello

Board Member

Joined from Nestle (June 12)

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

On a temporary leave of absence of undetermined length to improve himself as a leader as he mourns his mother's recent death (June 13)

Bozoma Saint John

Chief Brand Officer

Joined from Apple (June 6)

Emil Michael

Head of Business

Was ousted after the report from Eric Holder recommended that he leave the company (June 12)

Frances Frei

SVP of Leadership and Strategy

Joined from Harvard Business School (June 5)

June

Eric Alexander

President of Business in APAC

Left after allegations that he obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014 (June 7)

Gautam Gupta

Head of Finance

Left to join Opendoor as COO (May 31)

May

Anthony Levandowski

Head of Self-Driving Unit

Fired by Uber after he did not cooperate with inquiry related to a lawsuit from Waymo, Google's self-driving car unit (May 30)

Rachel Whetstone

SVP of Policy and Communications

Left after growing tensions with Uber management (April 11)

April

Brian McClendon

VP of Mapping

Left amicably to move back to home state of Kansas to explore politics (March 30)

Jeff Jones

President

Left while citing differences over “beliefs and approach to leadership” (March 19)

March

Ed Baker

VP of Product and Growth

Left to “apply my experience in technology and growth to the public sector” (March 3)

Amit Singhal

SVP of Engineering

Uber asked for his resignation after he didn’t disclose that he faced sexual harassment allegations at Google, his previous employer (February 27)

Feb.

New Hire

Departures

Leave of Absence

2017

Ryan Graves

SVP of Global Operations

Graves, the first employee at Uber, announced his resignation from management positions but will stay on the board. (August 10)

Aug.

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

Following pressure from investors, Kalanick announced his full resignation—though he will stay on as a board member (June 20). A current lawsuit threatens to have him removed from the board (August 10).

David Bonderman

Board Member

Resigned after audio was leaked of a sexist remark he made at a company-wide meeting (June 13)

July

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

On a temporary leave of absence of undetermined length to improve himself as a leader as he mourns his mother's recent death (June 13)

Emil Michael

Head of Business

Was ousted after the report from Eric Holder recommended that he leave the company (June 12)

Wan Ling Martello

Board Member

Joined from Nestle (June 12)

June

Eric Alexander

President of Business in APAC

Left after allegations that he obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014 (June 7)

Bozoma Saint John

Chief Brand Officer

Joined from Apple (June 6)

Frances Frei

SVP of Leadership and Strategy

Joined from Harvard Business School (June 5)

May

Gautam Gupta

Head of Finance

Left to join Opendoor as COO (May 31)

Anthony Levandowski

Head of Self-Driving Unit

Fired by Uber after he did not cooperate with inquiry related to a lawsuit from Waymo, Google's self-driving car unit (May 30)

Rachel Whetstone

Head of Policy and Communications

Left after growing tensions with Uber management (April 11)

April

Brian McClendon

VP of Mapping

Left amicably to move back to home state of Kansas to explore politics (March 30)

Jeff Jones

President

Left while citing differences over “beliefs and approach to leadership” (March 19)

March

Ed Baker

VP of Product and Growth

Left to “apply my experience in technology and growth to the public sector” (March 3)

Amit Singhal

SVP of Engineering

Uber asked for his resignation after he didn’t disclose that he faced sexual harassment allegations at Google, his previous employer (February 27)

Feb

To fill the gaps, Uber promoted some people from within the company. But other high-profile seats—including chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of engineering—remain empty. The COO search is one of particular importance to the company and has been going on for at least five months.

Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick announced earlier this month that he would take a leave of absence from the business he helped start. After pressure from investors, however, Kalanick resigned completely, leaving Uber without a top executive. The company plans to be run by committee, though the details of decision-making remain unclear.

Leadership Gap at Uber

Occupied

Vacant

New Hire

Internal Promotion

After investor pressure, announced his resignation on June 20

The search is a top priority

Chief Operating Officer

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

Thuan Pham

Chief Technology Officer

Chief Marketing Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Joe Sullivan

Chief of Security

Uber’s first employee. Resigned August 10, but will stay on the board

Richter took over after Emil Michael resigned on June 12

Saint John would report to the CMO once someone is hired

Ryan Graves

SVP of Global Operations

Bozoma Saint John

Chief Brand Officer

SVP of Engineering

David Richter

SVP of Business

Jill Hazelbaker

SVP of Communications

and Public Policy

Jill Hazelbaker

SVP of Communications

and Public Policy

Jeff Holden

Chief Product Officer

Frances Frei

SVP of Leadership

and Strategy

Salle Yoo

Chief Legal Officer

Yoo was promoted from General Counsel on May 21

Jason Droege

Head of

UberEVERYTHING

Eric Meyhofer

Head of

Autonomous Vehicles

General Counsel

Daniel Graf

Head of Product

Occupied

Vacant

After investor pressure, announced his resignation on June 20

New Hire

Internal Promotion

Travis Kalanick

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Operating Officer

This search is a top priority

Thuan Pham

Chief Technology Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Marketing Officer

Saint John would report to the CMO once someone is hired

Bozoma Saint John

Chief Brand Officer

Uber’s first employee. Resigned August 10, but will stay on the board

SVP of Engineering

Ryan Graves

SVP of Global Operations

David Richter

SVP of Business

Jill Hazelbaker

SVP of Communications

and Public Policy

Salle Yoo

Chief Legal Officer

Yoo was promoted from General Counsel on May 21

General Counsel

Jeff Holden

Chief Product Officer

Daniel Graf

Head of Product

Frances Frei

SVP of Leadership

and Strategy

Eric Meyhofer

Head of

Autonomous Vehicles

Jason Droege

Head of

UberEVERYTHING