Uber is shaking up its leadership by bringing in Target Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Jones, as president of its ridesharing operations.
It’s a big hire precipitated by Uber’s need to make sure its top-level marketing is working on a city-by-city level.
“Our vision is simple: to redefine how a large operations effort can be tightly integrated with a customer-obsessed marketing strategy,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in the announcement.
Jones will now be in charge of all of Uber’s operations, marketing, and customer support around the globe under the role of president.
According to Fortune, Kalanick and Jones started talking after Jones wanted to join the board of the company. Kalanick had just delivered a TED talk, which Jones critically gave him a B- for his performance since he didn’t focus on the positives of Uber. Six months later, Jones will be now in charge of fixing Uber’s flawed storytelling.
Jones’ hire does unseat Uber cofounder Ryan Graves from his dominant leadership position within the company. Graves, who was Uber’s first CEO, had previously overseen all of Uber’s operations, but will now focus on UberEverything and its people operations.
“Ryan is the progenitor of everything Uber Operations — setting the gold standard for what it means to run a truly great operations team in the on-demand world. But as we grow, marketing is becoming more and more of a thing, and it was clear we needed a real infusion of talent on that front. So we went big,” Kalanick said.
Uber, though, has a very spotty track record on bringing in “big” outside talent. Its former head of customer support, Tim Collins, joined Uber from Amazon — only to depart shortly after. Uber’s CFO hire, Google veteran Brett Callinicos, also left after a few months. Former Obama communications head, David Plouffe, joined Uber and then became more of an advisor to the company after Rachel Whetstone was hired.