Yet another high-level executive has jumped ship from Uber.
This time it’s Sherif Marakby, vice-president of global vehicle programs, who helped launch the company’s crucial (and embattled) self-driving car program.
Automotive News reports that Marakby, who joined a year ago, in April 2016, said in a statement: “Self-driving is one of the most interesting challenges I’ve worked on in my career, and I’m grateful to have contributed to what will soon be a safer future for everyone.”
Marakby is only the latest in a long line of executives to quit Uber in recent months, which is engulfed in multiple scandals, from allegations of a culture of sexism to a lawsuit brought against it by Google’s Waymo accusing it of stealing confidential information to use in its self-driving car program.
Here are some of the crises Uber is battling right now:
- The company has been accused of systematic sexism and gender bias by a former employee, prompting an internal inquiry.
- Its CEO, Travis Kalanick, has been attacked over his relationship with the Trump administration.
- Reports have described an “aggressive” workplace culture.
- The company has been sued by Google’s self-driving-car unit, Waymo, which is accusing Uber’s self-driving-car boss of stealing confidential material and copying Waymo’s designs.
- Kalanick was caught on video in a heated argument with an Uber driver over pay, telling the driver “some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s—.”
- News broke that Uber was using a secret “Greyball” tool to deceive government authorities around the world.
- It emerged that Uber had lied about its self-driving cars, which skipped multiple red lights.
- Leaked data showed that Uber’s self-driving cars still relied heavily on humans last year, with drivers being forced to take back control more than once a mile on average.
- Business Insider’s Alexei Oreskovic reported that sources said “attracting new employees and bolstering internal morale has become increasingly difficult as the company tries to overcome its tarnished reputation.”
- It came out that in 2014, Uber execs — including Kalanick and right-hand man Emil Michael — led a team visit to a karaoke-escort bar in South Korea.
- Uber suspended its self-driving car program in Arizona in March after one of its vehicles was involved in a crash. (A driver of another vehicle is believed to have been at fault, and there were no serious injuries, though Uber’s vehicle was knocked onto its side.)
- Uber was revealed to be using secret software called “Hell” to track drivers using rival ride-hailing app Lyft.
CEO Travis Kalanick is on the defensive, admitting that he needs to “fundamentally change as a leader” and is on the hunt for a COO (Chief Operating Officer) to help shoulder the load.
But simultaneously, numerous execs are heading for the exit. These include:
- Jeff Jones, Uber’s president, who cited differences over “beliefs and approach to leadership” on his way out.
- Brian Mclendon, Uber’s VP of maps and business platform.
- Rachel Whetstone, the company’s head of PR and policy.
- Gary Marcus, head of Uber AI Labs.
- Raffi Krikorian, senior director of engineering at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Centre.
- Charlie Miller, a key member of Uber’s self-driving car team.
- Amit Singhal, SVP of engineering, who left after it emerged that he didn’t disclose he had left his former employer Uber over a sexual harassment allegation.
- Ed Baker, Uber’s VP of product and growth.
And now Sherif Marakby is adding himself to that list. Before his one-year stint at Uber, Marakby spent 25 years at Ford, eventually working as director of global electronics and engineering.
An Uber spokesperson did not immediately provide comment to Business Insider.
Earlier this month, Uber voluntarily shared some of its financial data with Bloomberg, in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that despite the issues the company is facing, its performance is strong. It took $US20 billion (£16 billion) in gross bookings in 2016, double that in 2015, the company said.
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