June 7, 2019 / 8:51 PM / 10 days ago

Uber COO, marketing chief step down in leadership overhaul: memo

FILE PHOTO: Barney Harford, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Uber listens to a question during a news conference in New Delhi, India, April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi wants to take more control of operations and is overhauling the ride-hailing company’s leadership to deal with brand challenges, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

As part of the reorganization, Khosrowshahi has eliminated the position of chief operating officer and Barney Harford, who was named in the role in January 2018, has stepped down.

“I now have the ability to be even more involved in the day-to-day operations of our biggest businesses, the core platform of Rides and Eats, and have decided they should report directly to me,” Khosrowshahi said in the memo.

“This will allow me to be more hands on and help our leaders problem-solve in real time, while also ensuring that we make our platform vision a reality.”

Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Messina will also be leaving the company as Khosrowshahi combines the company’s marketing, communications and policy teams into one, led by Jill Hazelbaker.

Harford previously served as CEO and board director of Orbitz Worldwide from 2009 to 2015, while Messina, Uber’s first-ever chief marketing officer, joined from spirits maker Beam Suntory, before which she spent 22 years at Coca-Cola Co.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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