Another day, another Uber executive leaving the company.
This time it’s Rachel Whetstone, head of communications and policy.
In an email to staff, CEO Travis Kalanick sang Whetsone’s praises and indicated that the departure was amicable: Since joining in 2015, Rachel has blown us all away with her ability to get stuff done. She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an amazing player-coach who has built a first-class organization.
Whetstone echoed Kalanick’s upbeat tone in her statement sent by Uber: I am incredibly proud of the team that weve builtand that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place. I joined Uber because I love the productand that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my very first ride six years ago.
Whetstone will be replaced by her deputy Jill Hazelbaker.
Litany of scandals
While the statements are full of peace and love, it’s hard not to be struck by the departure of yet another high-profile Uber executive.
Uber has been dogged by scandals in recent months. To recap: there was the former employee Susan Fowler who described sexism in the company in a blogpost that rocked social media; Kalanick joined then left Donald Trump’s economic advisory council; stories of Uber executives at an escort-karaoke bar in South Korea; and Uber President Jeff Jones resigned in March. The company even has a special hashtag, #DeleteUber, dedicated to it on social media, consolidating anti-Uber sentiment.
Reason for leaving
Recode reports that Whetstone’s reasons for leaving Uber are multi-faceted. She was apparently fed up of “drama,” having worked at Google for 10 years previously. In an email to staff she reportedly said these type of “always-on” jobs are exciting but exhausting.
Recode also reports tensions between her and Kalanick as some investors had blamed bad press for the troubles at the company.
But Kalanick’s message points out their friendly relationship. He attached a photo of them hiking together and wrote, “I am looking forward to having her as an advisor for years to come. With many more long hikes along the Skyline Trail, reports the BBC .
Whatever the real reason behind this latest exit, Hazelbaker has a tough job ahead of her.
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