Simon Gwynn
Jun 11, 2019

Uber parts ways with second CMO in 12 months

Rebecca Messina's role will be abolished as part of leadership restructure that follows recent IPO.

Uber: Messina and Hazelbaker
Uber: Messina and Hazelbaker

Uber’s global chief marketing officer, Rebecca Messina, is leaving the company, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has confirmed, with her role ceasing to exist.

Messina joined the ride-hailing app in October 2018 from Beam Suntory, where she was senior vice-president and global chief marketing officer. Messina replaced Bozoma Saint John, who was chief brand officer for 12 months until June 2018. Saint John, who joined Uber from Apple, left to become chief marketing officer at entertainment company Endeavour.

Chief operating officer Barney Harford is also leaving, Khosrowshahi said in an email to staff that was first reported by CNBC.

Uber will now combine its marketing, communications and policy teams under the leadership of Jill Hazelbaker, currently senior vice-president of communications and public policy. Khosrowshahi told staff he had made the decision because it was "increasingly clear that it’s crucial for us to have a consistent, unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press and policymakers".

Khosrowshahi added that he had agreed with Messina that it "makes sense" for her to move on. He said: "In Rebecca’s time here, she stood up our first global marketing organisation and helped showcase the best aspects of our brand during our IPO. I’m so grateful for her energy and enthusiasm over the past nine months and I wish her all the best."

Uber’s core business units will now report directly to Khosrowshahi, meaning the chief operating officer role will also cease to exist.

The restructure follows May’s initial public offering, which was widely considered to be a failure, when Uber’s share price quickly fell 10%. It has since recovered and is slightly above the initial price.

In March, Uber hired Instagram's Taj Alavi as global head of marcoms.

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