Uber president resignation “completely unexpected” – or was it?

A source at Uber has told the BBC that the resignation of Jeff Jones, Uber president, was “completely unexpected”.

It is rumoured that Jones was annoyed after he was not considered for the role of chief operating office, after the company began looking to hire for the position.

Uber’s co-founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick announced Uber was looking to hire in this position earlier this month.

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However, according to technology news site Recode, the recent issues of sexism and sexual harassment surrounding the company led Jones to resign.

Indeed, this was confirmed by Jones in a statement to Reuters. He said he could not continue as president of a business with which he was incompatible.

“I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term,” Jones said.

“It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business,” he added.

The sexual harassment shadow that continues to linger over Uber was swiftly preceded by Kalanick being filmed arguing with an Uber driver. 2017 has been filled with controversy for the firm.

In a statement on Sunday, Uber said: “We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best.”


In an email to his staff on Sunday, Kalanick said: “After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn’t see his future at Uber.”

“It is unfortunate that this was announced through the press, but I thought it was important to send all of you an email before providing comment publicly.”

Will Kalanick step down?

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This resignation has led some to suggest that an overhaul of the company’s leadership is underway. Two BBC sources at the company have said that Kalanick could step down once the new COO is in place. This comes after he questioned his leadership ability following the row with an employee and could reassure his investors ahead of a potential initial public offering.

Another source said, however, there was “zero chance” of Kalanick stepping down when the new COO is announced, while an Uber spokesperson refused to comment.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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