Taxi hailing app Uber has driven itself further into disarray after its president Jeff Jones decided to step down just seven months after joining the company.
Jones joined as Uber’s president from retailer Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) last September, tasked with improving the San-Francisco group’s brand and reputation. But he has experienced a bumpy ride during his time at the company.
Jones has had to contend with a string of scandals at Uber including sexual harassment accusations, the use of a programme to evade law enforcement efforts, a lawsuit alleging theft of intellectual property from Google’s autonomous car unit, Waymo, and the testing of self-driving cars without a permit.
Jones told tech news site, Recode, which first reported his departure on Sunday: “It is now clear . . . 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.”
His role was called into question after Uber earlier this month kicked off a search for a chief operating officer (COO) to help run the company alongside chief executive Travis Kalanick. Jones had been taking on some of the COO responsibilities.
An Uber spokesman said: “We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best.”
At the same time it emerged that Uber was losing an engineer who was key to the group’s efforts to launch its self-driving cars.
Brian McClendon, who joined from Google two years ago as Uber’s vice-president of maps and business platform, said he was leaving to pursue a career in politics. McClendon insisted the move was planned for several months and was unrelated to Jones’s departure.
The news comes a month after a blog post by former Uber employee Susan Fowler claimed sexual harassment at the company was commonplace and was left unpunished.
In the wake of the allegations, two other senior executives have left Uber.