Gary Marcus, the much-celebrated hire that was in charge of Uber’s AI Labs, is stepping down from his position at the company after a short four months. In a Facebook post, Marcus said he will now become a “special advisor” to Uber’s AI efforts.
“Great news – I am headed back to my family in New York! I’ve negotiated a new role with Uber as Special Advisor for AI that gives me more flexibility. So proud of the Geometric team – it has been great working with them,” Marcus wrote.
Marcus joined Uber in December 2016 to much fanfare from the company. Uber acquired his 15-person startup, Geometric Intelligence, and brought Marcus in to lead its new AI Lab. No terms of the deal were disclosed at the time.
“In spite of notable wins with machine learning in recent years, we are still very much in the early innings of machine intelligence,” Uber exec Jeff Holden wrote in a blog post. “The formation of Uber AI Labs, to be directed by Geometric’s Founding CEO Gary Marcus, represents Uber’s commitment to advancing the state of the art, driven by our vision that moving people and things in the physical world can be radically faster, safer and accessible to all.”
At the time, Marcus told the Wall Street Journal that he planned to hire aggressively and eventually open an office in the UK. Yet, after four months, Marcus is no longer leading Uber’s AI efforts, as first reported by Axios.
Uber confirmed his departure and a spokesman reiterated that the company remains committed to its AI Lab and is super excited to have the Geometric Intelligence team on board.
His departure is the latest in a string of high-profile names to leave the company. Former Twitter engineer Raffi Krikorian stepped down from his role as a senior director of engineer at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in late February. On Wednesday, it was announced another key member of Uber’s self-driving team, Charlie Miller, had left Uber to join Chinese rival Didi’s self-driving car lab.
Uber’s also had two executives resign as the company investigates sexual harassment and gender bias in its workplace. Last week, Amit Singhal was asked to resign as SVP of engineering by Travis Kalanick after it was revealed he didn’t inform Uber about previous allegations of sexual assault. Later that week, Uber’s VP of Product and Growth Ed Baker also resigned under mysterious circumstances.
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