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Uber president Jeff Jones is quitting (recode.net)
372 points by fluxic 38 days ago | hide | past | web | 227 comments | favorite



Serious question - why hasn't the Uber board replaced Kalanick yet? While it is indisputable he successfully brought Uber to where it is now, it doesn't seem like he has the good judgement to be leading Uber at this stage of the company's lifecycle. Wouldn't the best thing for the company at this point be a complete overhaul of leadership?


Because kalanick and early investor control the class B stocks, which means they control the voting power. Additionally kalanick has been outspoken about running uber himself so its unlikely that he'll step down.


Im guessing if uber crashes and burns, it will make investors re-evaluate stock-but-no-control deals.


If only that were true. Lots of VC is simply FOMO at any cost.


If that is true, then I really need to drink my ethics out of my conscious, just grab that 'free' money, burn it on foosball tables, beanbag chairs, blow, trips to Goa, etc. and ride the late 'teens wave to a 'remorseful' book deal and the inevitable Scorsese film. Gosh, what is wrong with me?


Because the boards act in structural manner, rather than by spur of emotion.

The new CEO will most likely get some key performance objectives related to current problems as well as revenue (or margin) growth.

If there's a reason to believe TK can commit and be evaluated against the same indicators, the incumbent CEO is a better choice since no time is wasted on onboarding and getting familiar with the business. If he refuses to commit or commits and is then unable to execute, now that stipulates a much more productive board discussion on how the current CEO should step away to let a "more mature" or "more tenured" CEO that can execute against those objectives.

So if any resignation is imminent, expect it in 3-6 months, not now.


I agree with respect to the behavior of boards, but the public relations imbroglio could prompt a more rash action. Interim executives could perform his duties for 3-6 months. I believe that.

To me, that the perception of Uber as a toxic company has not abated indicates that, even if the board and investors have tried to ameliorate the situation, they have little control over Kalanick. I'd be fairly upset to see my return hang in the balance over something like that, but I suppose your return is always hanging in the balance over something.

If I were an investor in Uber I would be more concerned about the Waymo/Otto business. If some injunction comes down with that, a huge amount of the value of Uber could evaporate. If their self-driving business stays on course and they oust Kalanick, I'm reasonably certain that they can deliver on a large portion of their valuation.


Would be fun for the remaining bro culture if the board ousted Kalanick and installed Marissa Mayer.


Yeah, she might be able to finish destroying Uber quicker than Travis.


So she could bury the details of getting hacked? Again?

Seriously, if she is ever allowed to hold a paying job again, something is wrong with corporate culture.


Interesting...The FBI seems to be praising her for her actions in that space.

"Mayer exhibited 'great leadership and courage while under intense pressure from many entities,' FBI San Francisco Division Special Agent in Charge Jack Bennett said on Wednesday"


Yeah that'll be a great resume padder "Ignored and pretended not to know about one of the largest breaches in history, but it's ok because the FBI said I was a real trooper"


And we're supposed to take the FBI's praise at face value? Give me a break.


Why replace him? He's publicly unpopular but the company is worth more than ever, and the investors care most about money.

Why get rid of him when they're plenty of ways to spin the narrative. Like making unrelated but scandalous sounding press releases, and finding an occasional fall guy


Because when you have an unpopular leader making decisions that are unpopular with customers you lose those customers. I no longer use Uber and don't see myself using them again until he leaves.

More recently I've been considering closing my Amex card now that they've partnered with Uber.


I'm curious about what fraction of the #deleteUber participants reinstall the app within a week... I'm guessing around 60%?


A surprisingly large number of seemingly-unconnected people I know have switched to Lyft. The switching itself isn't the issue, it's that these people come from several different social groups and they are all surprisingly vocal about switching.


The fact that my friends still pile up at Chick-Fil-A makes me want to disagree. No matter how principled people claim to be, they always end up back with what they know and like, in this case Uber.


In this case though, there's a competitor that does exactly the same thing for similar prices.


> Similar prices

Not true, Uber can be 40-60% cheaper. I've stopped taking public transit in the Bay Area because of Uber, I don't think I could do that with Lyft alone. Is there another competitor with cheaper pricing?


I don't know about the US, but in India, Ola offers cheaper prices than Uber (about 30 - 60%) and people are switching to it. Uber hasn't been deleted, but it's losing customers (at least the ones using cab services regularly) to Ola.


I had no idea, that's awesome (for consumers, not uber haha)


I'd guess that a large fraction of people that deleted the Uber app and installed a competitor have not reinstalled. Once you've gone through that there isn't much point in reinstalling Uber. However, I don't know how many people did this vs just uninstalling Uber without a replacement or leaving it installed but not using the app. Those two groups probably had higher rates of people going back to Uber.


I disagree - I've had Uber and Lyft for years, and I check both to compare prices and ETA. For the past 6 months, I've noticed that Uber can be 40-60% cheaper than Lyft. I doubt former Uber users will forget what prices are like.


Uninstalling provides an additional barrier to returning. I mentioned that I expect users that didn't uninstall to return at a higher rate than users that did.

It's also not just about the price. A new benefit to having an Amex platinum card is $200 per year in Uber ride credits. I do not plan to return to Uber to use the credits. In fact, this is making me seriously consider not renewing that card when the annual fee comes up in a few months. I don't want Uber getting money from me, even indirectly.


That's a noble decision!

Call me a cynic, but I think you're in the minority, I doubt most people have the moral fortitude to forego $200 in free Uber credits...


How exactly do you perform this price comparison? In my experience you only find out what the ride cost after it's over. Or do you regularly travel the same routes often enough that you can run a personal A/B test?


UberPool and LyftLine tell you prices up front, before requesting the ride!


Ah, I see - I've never tried those services. Not even sure whether they exist in Seattle.


It probably depends on their alternatives, so cities are probably going to have more viable competitors to use than rural areas.

60% seems extremely high to me. I'm sure it's happening at some level, but it would have a significant impact on Uber's growth and it opens the door for the 2nd and 3rd place competitors to get traction.

Also, the rates will drop every time there's a new scandal, so there's a compounding effect to the waves of bad press they've had.


You say that -- and externally the place looks like a catastrophe -- but we don't know what's going on under the covers. If they saw him as a true risk he'd be gone by now.


The question is when does he become a liability for the IPO aka VC exit?


Do you really think the Uber board is going to risk bursting that bubble with an IPO? I'd expect them to keep doing funding rounds on the basis of "it's an XX billion dollar company and its valuation is growing at YY billion/year" and try to keep the Ponzi scheme running until they get their self-driving tech working (since that's their only realistic chance of actually becoming revenue-positive).


Sure, they'll keep that going as long as they can. The point is, though, that narrative is slipping away from them. They need to make a convincing case that it's real, and do so soon.


Not if he controls the company (which by all appearences, he does)


Update 1:

>Travis Kalanick just sent out a company-wide email. It essentially says after Uber said it was naming a COO, Jones decided to leave.

[0] https://twitter.com/MikeIsaac/status/843586902817099777

Update 2: Ex-president Jones makes statement

>"I joined Uber because of its Mission [sic], and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long-term.

"It is now clear, however, 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.

"There are thousands of amazing people at the company, and I truly wish everyone well."

[1] https://twitter.com/MikeIsaac/status/843620240961368065


The content of that internal email is at the bottom of this article: http://www.businessinsider.com/report-ubers-president-jeff-j...

Kalanick certainly wanted to put his spin on the reason for leaving.

"After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn't see his future at Uber."


Haha, from the follow-up tweets[1]:

> one or two back-handed compliments in there. but alas.

> (one imagines taking the high road would have been a better decision here. but hey, im not an exec)

[1]: https://twitter.com/MikeIsaac/status/843587293428375553


More from the follow up tweets in regards to John's statement to Recode[1]:

> one imagines that the above statement wouldn't have come if the below email didn't include the passive aggression

[1]: https://twitter.com/MikeIsaac/status/843620898967969793


Given that he quit just in six months, probably he did not even wait for his RSU grants to mature (1 year cliff for stock grants). The situation might be much worse that what appears.


Leadership compensation does not work in the same way as rank and file compensation.


Not necessarily true. I've seen it work both ways, so probably best to leave it at "we don't know the details of the compensation arrangement".


That's correct, but that has more to do with what happens at termination or liquidity events.

It's very likely he had to forfeit everything, including any signing bonus (1 year timebomb is standard).


I'd guess the real problem is that Jones can't change things without other upper management agreeing to his proposals, and they're not agreeing.


I really don't think he needs the money after being CMO at Target.

This is what having fuck-you-money gets you: The ability to walk away not care about the financial consequences.


Target CMO gets you 10s of millions ($7 million comp last year), or a bit over 100 million after a decade or so.

People are funny. Millionaires get billionaire-envy and are sometimes willing to risk jail to add the extra zeros.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajat_Gupta


I just read his wiki page, obviously a brilliant man, its a shame that he went down this path.


Or maybe he thinks his current mansions, sports cars, and retirement funds are good enough?


While this is big for the company, I am curious what it means for recruitment of future executives at the company.

My understanding is at this level it's about personal connections and grooming an image. With that in mind, does it become harder to attract great executives on a go-forward basis for Uber?


> With that in mind, does it become harder to attract great executives

A good analogy would be attracting candidates for coaching positions in sports.

If you're a team in a bad situation, you'll have to settle for candidates that don't have the experience usually required for the position, or people who've done it before who haven't had huge success.

Also most great execs are already in a great position - why would they step into a bad situation unless you gave them a higher title or more power?

Basically you get either a placeholder or an unknown quantity. The unknown quantity is just that. They might be awesome (everybody has to have had a first head coaching job) or completely overwhelmed.


There's an important difference: compensation.

If a losing team wants a winning coach, they will either have to settle for someone inexperienced, or pay up to get someone experienced in turnaround situations.

Same with companies, except with turnarounds the most substantial part of compensation is the company's stock. If the turnaround is successful, the executive will get wildly rich as the stock appreciates (and rightly so).

With Uber, the stock is greatly overvalued, which means anybody coming in is trying to turnaround the company, but only to maintain the current imaginary valuation. Where's the upside?


> pay up to get someone experienced in turnaround situations.

To your point, in the business world, if you've already gone through the turnaround experience, you're probably already very well compensated.

The one big thing that you can dangle in front of good candidates is a more powerful position or more responsibility. Hire a COO into a CEO position, or give a proven head coach power over personnel decisions. Other than that, there really isn't much of a carrot you can dangle. A move from a CEO of a successful company to a CEO of a failing company is a strictly negative move. EDIT: all other things being equal, of course. You could get a CEO of a small successful company to run a large failing company, but that'd be similar to getting a successful high school coach to run a college team.


Good point. Lou Gerstner wasn't going to jump from IBM right when he was starting to reap the rewards of his work.

The only case I can think of where execs jump around fairly quickly in "turnaround" situations are those who specialize in getting a company ready for a sale.


> To your point, in the business world, if you've already gone through the turnaround experience, you're probably already very well compensated.

And you have a name and a position and a network and influence at your company.

Money is worth peanuts compared to that!

What's the risk of taking an hypothetical 50M from Uber, it's gonna be trying to fuck you over with ISOs and sexually harass you, whereas you can take 5M a year at your current company safely and with great success for the next decade.

Keeping a successful ship successful is hard work. There is nothing a distressed ship has to offer you.


The challenge? Anecdata but my mom explained it thusly: some are good at starting companies, some at keeping things humming along and others at fixing companies...


> but only to maintain the current imaginary valuation. Where's the upside?

If you were offered the job of President of Uber, say at the same salary you make now, would you take it?

I'm sure a lot of people would say yes.

Success or fail, you would now have "President of a multi-billion dollar company" on your resume.


Imagine you are an energy company exec in November 2001 and someone offers you the job of replacing Jeff Skilling at Enron now that the financial problems have been exposed and it is starting to enter free-fall mode. Do you take the job so that you can have President of Enron on your CV?

The people who are qualified for the job or would be even considered in the first place are likely to be in one of two career trajectories at the moment: aiming upward to become the CEO of a major corporation or on a downward path and trying to maintain the power, respect, and lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. People in the former category would avoid Uber like the plague, so you are looking for someone in the latter group who is talented enough to catch a falling knife but somehow overlooked by companies making a similar search but not quite as desperate as Uber happens to be at the moment. Tough order to fill...


I don't think so. Within some circles that may be true, but if they cast a wide net, I don't think it should be an issue. Just as sinking ship companies are able to attract people who think they can rescue them, or prove themselves capable, I think Uber can find the same kinds of executives if they reach outside "tech".


If you are living in the Bay Area you would think Uber is a bad company. But I just met someone outside of the Bay and realized people love Uber. They have a lot of problems and a lot to do but they are still the market leader.


Cities that still don't have ride sharing services still see Uber as the shining Messiah coming to save them. Current shenanigans within the company are really not that well known outside of tech circles.

At present, in our city in North Australia, ride sharing services are still technically illegal, but Uber is campaigning hard against local government to get it overturned and the general population are behind them because the local taxi service stinks. Uber are even placing targeted ads on Facebook for local residents, and have a special page on their website just for our city residents to get information on the progress of the fight with our state govt. and local council.


Unfortunately for them, their reputation in the Bay Area will make it harder for them to attract and retain talent and stay competitive in the long run.


Coming from LA and Boston, plenty of people think Uber is a bad company but still use them for lack of better prices. Most people check Lyft and will go with it if cheaper/the same cost.


I live outside the US. I'm a vocal critique of Uber - the company but I love Uber - the service. Evaluating their competitors where I live, it's pretty obvious Uber is a much more seamless and better customer oriented taxi experience than anything else in the market.


Uber has certain ethical issues with its internal culture and with how it interfaces with local government/regulations, but the customer experience is really excellent compared to traditional taxis.


Uber doesn't have a prayer of rehabilitation until Kalanick himself goes. The rot goes straight up to him. Jeff Jones was a much more recent acquisition who came from staid corporate America (Target) -- I don't think he was the problem.


The short tenure, job description, and his history makes this bit believable: "Jones determined that the situation at the company was more problematic than he realized."


Not sure if this update came before the HN share, but this is a very explosive statement from Jones:

“It is now clear, however, 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."


In the most polite and urbane way possible, he's calling them toxic; in a world full of pretty toxic people and practices, he's calling them out.

Until this moment I wasn't sold on the idea that Uber was going to actually die from this, now...


It's dangerous to make predictions like that. We've seen worse companies last longer.

In the 2008 financial crisis, people from the bottom to the top committed outright fraud; swallowing up other banks whole (PNC bought National City for $5 billion; then got a $5 billion tax credit .. they bought National City for free .. NC wasn't allowed to apply for TARP).

Ford sold tank treads to Germany. IBM made punch cards for the SS. BP got the UK and US to remove the democratically elected leader of Iran and install a dictator. United Fruit and everything they did in South America

Wal-Mart is still around, and Amazon has turned into the new Wal-Mart. Uber could die tomorrow or last another 50 years. I don't think any of this is make or break.


I think the difference with those comparisons is that Uber is a massive startup, and startups have a high tendency to fail. Situations like Uber are the exact reason everyone was issuing warnings about "late stage private companies" last year. Uber might have lots cash on hand, but their unit economics makes them a ticking timebomb, meanwhile the constant PR is sending them into a huge tailspin.

Zenefits seems to have cleaned up with the departure of the former CEO. I'm not sure what their bankruptcy prospects were. Departure or not, I think Uber has challenges beyond their need to create self-driving cars (which the CEO claimed was existential for them).


i think the self driving car stuff is existential for uber because the drivers cost them too much money. it's a race against their ability to raise capital.


and yet Google is saying some of that software was stolen and there was that other recent post that showed their cars still needed a pretty large amount of driver intervention .. so that's probably not working out for them at the moment either.


correct. they've fucked themselves. i'm really curious what their financials look like, because i bet google has an approximation, and google may know that this lawsuit's costs will break the camel's back.


You still haven't explained why it's dangerous to make this prediction, you've just disagreed with it.


> You still haven't explained why it's dangerous to make this prediction,

In literally the second sentence of his response: "We've seen worse companies last longer."

Now, Uber's current combination of all its troubles does not paint a pretty picture, but a resignation of a top exec and a PR nightmare simultaneously aren't really things that would definitively sink a multi-billion dollar company.


>In literally the second sentence of his response: "We've seen worse companies last longer."

...And the danger is...?


You might be wrong, and make decisions based on that wrong decision. That's the context of the discussion.

Nobody is suggesting that you'll get bumped off by the Uber PR squad, just that you'll be caught making uninformed definitive statemnts about an uncertain situation.


The difference here is that Uber doesn't have much of value except their brand. Their industry has a low barrier to entry, their work force isn't tied to the company and they don't have much in the way of IP. Their ability to ride out bad press is a lot more limited than companies that can fall back on those things.

(well, they also have a giant pile of cash. But their ability to raise that cash is obviously dependent on what investors think of their brand)


those companies all make/made money. Uber bleeds money at an insane rate.



...Who also made and make lots of money. I don't think that anyone is disputing that absolute scumbags can stay in power if they make people money, but Uber... loses... money.


On the contrary, their stock valuation is staggering. If it simply increases to eclipse normal companies they can burn all they like.

It's more than a bit like a tipping point for the moral soul of market capitalism (to the extent that's not already an oxymoron).

Basically Uber will continue to dominate so long as being a complete, total monster is MORE important than any other consideration. That's what's propping them up: their continued existence is an indication that, to global capital as it exists today, the various considerations of business all boil down to one single Darwinian consideration: what will make the most money, all else aside.

Uber is a vote for 'all else aside'. They're a vote for literally capital crushing everything else before it, for the belief that abstracted power (in the form of money) can always do anything it wants. In a sense it's a vote of confidence in the freest of free markets: as long as everybody continues to believe, logically Uber can never fail because they can always out-scumbag everybody else and if you're certain that's the key to success it's illogical to break faith with 'em. That doesn't mean 'liking' it: you can hate it and still believe that's the only way to success.

The one crack in the support beam: this literally requires everyone to agree, because the ONLY thing holding Uber up is the collective confidence in their valuation. They can only burn infinitely if they represent something vitally important to capital as a whole. This is why they're still Uber, and it's pretty revealing.

But it requires just about unanimous agreement that Uber is the way of the future. It doesn't take many defectors before Uber stops making the rules for being a unicorn darling trend-setter: and people do have a sense of what's at stake here. If Uber is NOT the future… then they lose a LOT of money.

Uber is the Enron model. They are incapable of crumbling, or dwindling. They can only be the way of the future and the one model for everyone going forward… or explode, very suddenly and catastrophically.


All of those companies turn a huge profit.


Uber has made some serious mistakes.

I myself was a die hard supporter of uber and its behavior of breaking corrupt laws.... up until the last month or so with the recent controversies.

Toxic is toxic I guess.


Wow, "very explosive" is putting it lightly. He could have very easily said something a little more sanguine, along the lines of "We had a difference of opinion, yada yada." The fact that he is trying to distance himself so strongly from Uber makes me think the stuff that will come out from the sexism investigation and Waymo lawsuit will be even more damaging than I thought.

My not-even-2-cent internet armchair prediction: one or more people will go to jail for the whole Levandowski affair.


Yeah, good luck getting another career corporate exec after someone leaving says something like that in an official statement.


I would hire him. I wouldn't hire you.


Would you hire someone to re-read what I posted? :-)


It's an innocent mistake, but you've inverted the meaning of OP – he's agreeing with you (and saying this is a huge red flag for any experienced execs Uber might want to hire).


It is so strange that high level executive says something like this about the company he is leaving.

Burning bridges like this?

Could it be that he was part of the problem and attack is the best defense? Because I cannot find any other reason why somebody would do this.

It is also strange to say that because he was no. 2 in the company and if you are no. 2 you should be able to fix things you do not like.


He only started 6 months ago, and was coming from corporate america Target the company.

Burning bridges with Uber is a benefit to him. He can use that fire to burn away the bad smell from them before it taints him permanently.


I would suggest it's unlikely he was part of the problem, given that Uber type behavior would never be tolerated at Target. That may be because of ethics, or it may be because they were sued into ethics; either way, not tolerated.


Burning bridges can be a boost to your reputation. Imagine the number 2 person at Enron left after six months at the job and made the same statement - they would have been hailed as a leader of excellent judgement and moral standing after the collapse.


Yes, this clearly looks like Jones getting out before his reputation is sullied by further association with Uber's leadership.


The most likely thing that happened was that Jones said 'you go or I go' and that that ended with him going.

Without inside knowledge that's speculative but this is how these things usually play out when founders dig in against a new outsider.

The letter feels like spin to reduce the feeling of a fractured company towards the rest of the cadre. Not that they will be fooled (for long, anyway).

Anyway, it's Travis Kalanick's ship to sink if he so desires so Jones is right to leave, but if I were him I would not wait too long before coming to my senses. The Uber brand is starting to look damaged beyond repair and they still have not begun with the salvaging operation, things are only getting worse.


> The most likely thing that happened was that Jones said 'you go or I go' and that that ended with him going.

It's entirely possible (and more likely) that he said "these people need to go" and got told "no, they're high performers we can't do without."


Well, those 'high performers' are a liability more than they are an asset at the moment so that would have been a very bad call. Uber is not exactly SpaceX and any 'high performers' that think they are so above the law that they get to destroy the company culture and cause a tsunami of bad press should be sacked pronto.

Nothing less will start to stem the tide.


It all depends on what constitutes 'bad press' and the company culture. If the valuation of Uber is based on how much they are monsters with no consideration for anything else, none of this counts as bad press provided that Uber can still beat everything and everybody it's in conflict with.

Stealing ideas from Google? If they can't get away with it, that's catastrophic. If they DO get away with it that's a thumb in the eye to Google, much like their normal operations are a gutpunch to every legal system they're in conflict with.

The whole point is this: everything negative about Uber turns into a positive for their valuation if they can get away with it. I don't see any possible event or action that would break this rule. Travis Kalanick could eat babies on nationwide TV and it would help their valuation IF he got away with it, because it would be more grandstanding about how Uber is ultimately powerful and can always do anything it wants because of that power.

View any bad press in that light: are they getting away with it? If they are, it's more evidence they make the rules, and making the rules is why they're valued at Uber levels. If they are above any and all laws, the valuation is justified or undervalued.


Yeah. Sounds eerily similar to the story of a certain real estate developer turned politician.

It's a little bit like attempting to achieve escape velocity. If you succeed then everything is fine, but if you fall even a little bit short, it all comes crashing to the ground.

Only time will tell, but I'll be pulling (har har) for Team Gravity.


Oh, I agree completely about the value of the alleged high performers.


The comment you're replying to is referencing the same "high performer" reasoning cited by Susan Fowler. Probably not endorsing the practice, just noting it exists.


I love when sentences like that tell you everything you need to know without actually saying anything.


I agree. There's enough social awareness that people don't want to support a company run by jerks like Travis Kalanick. In an era with socially conscious consumers, integrity of leadership matters.

It is easy enough to switch to Lyft (I live in major metropolitan area) without any inconvenience. And the Lyft driver's I've talked with about all the controversy say they make more $$$ and are happier driving for Lyft.


i wish that were true outside the US :( i really really want lyft here in AU so that i can ditch uber

as it stands, the options are taxis and not getting private transport, which is the option i've taken when it's not too inconvenient


FWIW, at least here in Sydney, the taxi people have significantly upped their game. The Silver Service app is close-to as good as the Uber one (at least from a rider's point of view, the drivers prefer the Uber app).

Another interesting thing I've noticed, my taxi trips for a few commonly used trips turn out to be occasionally cheaper, and rarely more than 5 or 10% more expensive than the Uber rides I used to use... (And that includes getting home at 1am on the nighttime surcharge rate here in Sydney...)

As a friend commented on Twitter recently: "it's pretty hard to make taxi owners look good - (not drivers, most drivers NOT owners) but Uber's making it happen"


Aside from other taxi booking apps, has anyone other than uber entered or tried to enter the 'ride sharing' business in Australia?


GoCatch has moved into ride sharing now - they're relatively big in Sydney and the drivers get a bigger cut so I'm happy using them.


>There's enough social awareness that people don't want to support a company run by jerks like Travis Kalanick.

I asked 7-8 of my non tech/internet obsessed friends what they thought of recent uber scandals and if they stopped using uber. I got blank stares.

all of my techy friends know about uber news but not one has deleted uber.

Very very few actually care about any of it, people have short memory and outrage fatigue is real.


And if you had asked your non-tech/internet obsessed friends what they thought of Uber a few years ago you would have gotten equally blank 'wtf is Uber?' stares. You may think that having the tech industry filled with antipathy towards Uber does not matter much, but those same techies are the ones who make decisions like 'what companies should we support via an API call in our app' or 'who should we partner with on our new service', and more importantly the 'whose recruiting offer should I consider' question. With Uber bleeding money from its unlicensed taxi business it needs to find any other opportunity it can, and having those doors just a little bit harder to open for the Uber bizdev & recruiting people will matter a lot more in the long-run than whether or not a non-techie decides to take an Uber home in middle America.


There is still the problem that without the competition that Uber provides, Lyft likely becomes a more typical company and begins increasing their margins in ways that customers and employees dislike.


Uber's rates are already unsustainably low. Competition is one thing but unhealthy, unsustainable competition is another thing entirely.

It's probably for the best that rates go up a bit.


Best for who? It's better for riders if rates stay unsustainably low and they can get discounted rides at the expense of VCs.


"better for riders if rates stay unsustainably low"

Rates that are unsustainably low cannot be sustained, by definition.


Not without outside pressure, which in this case exists. I've been using Uber for 5 years.


Exceptionally low rates means the cars that are picking people up are not the quality of cars people want to be riding in, nor the quality of drivers they want to be riding with.


You're conflating two things - the low rate paid by the riders and the rate paid to the drivers.

As long as the drivers are getting paid well, whether it be from fares paid by riders or by VC subsidies, it will attract "quality" cars and drivers.

A separate issue is the sustainability of subsidizing driver wages from VCs by keeping rider fares artificially low.


Best for people who want these new services to continue.


It doesn't really matter whether they continue as long as something else takes their place afterwards.


Uber is still the big dog in town, I doubt they'll disappear completely.

Also, if you listen to the Lyft founder talk about the company, he sounds like he actually wants to help the world. Not to say that they can't become a shitty corporation, but it seems less likely.


Lyft's valuation is still 1/10th of Uber's. I don't think we need to worry too much about Uber going under anytime in the near future. Uber still has another 10B in the bank. As a consumer, I am supporting Lyft so that they might live another day to keep the competition going


> Uber still has another 10B in the bank.

Seeing as how leaked financials have reported Uber losing billions each year, I don't think they have nearly that much money left.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/21/uber-losses-expected-to-hi...


That's been my experience too - drivers like Lyft better, and Lyft doesn't seem to be run by assholes. I never actually deleted my Uber account, but I didn't bother to install the app when I bought a new phone; I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.


As far as I'm concerned, the rot is pervasive.. Even the drivers. My ex girlfriend was riding an uber and the driver exposed himself. She complained to uber and they claimed they fired him but after the recent revelations, I don't trust that company at all.


Oh please. Jeff Jones knew what he was signing up for.

To paraphrase Chris Rock, "that Uber didn't go crazy; that Uber went Uber"


Meta: how can you write an article about Uber's president leaving and leave out the massive lawsuit from Google's parent company?


Because they're unrelated? Mixing in the Waymo suit does nothing to clarify the situation around Jones. Sure it's juicy, but it's a different story.


It's at least as related as the sexism controversy, which is mentioned. The title and subtitle both blame Uber's current turmoil and controversy, and the Alphabet suit may easily become the biggest issue. If the CEO conspired to steal tech from Waymo then the entire management structure at Uber is going to be in serious, serious trouble with its board and with the law.


Not necessarily. It broke within six months. It's believable that he didn't know anything about the parentage of Otto, and when the lawsuit hit, he realized just how screwed up of a situation he found himself in and bailed.

We can't say it is related, but we can't say it's not related either.


> We can't say it is related, but we can't say it's not related either.

...and that's why you should leave it out of the headline.


That's a fair point, I hadn't considered that. I still think leaving it out of the article is fair though. Since we don't know one way or another and there isn't anything pointing in that direction just yet.


The lawsuit is from Waymo which is technically a sibling company to Google.


News need not always be editorializing.


I think Uber's biggest problem is the broken relationships it has with so many of it's drivers. Their abuse of their labour force is the reason unions exist.


It is a broken relationship that would be hard to fix. Uber doesn't even try to hide its intention to get rid of the drivers once it has its self driving cars fully deployed


At current burn rate they won't survive long enough for that to happen.


[Modern] Union disliker here--that is hella true. Uber has earned it


The "echo chamber" works both ways. When there is excitement and buzz, it drives startups to success like no where else. Apparently it works in reverse too and people love to see the big kid on the block take hits.


Sorry, this is not just or mainly what's happening here. Every time an anti-Uber article comes up, someone pops in and says something to the effect of your comment, but it simply isn't true.

Uber is evil. They do evil things. They should not be supported. Yes, people like to see the titans fall, but people also like to see those who behave poorly get what they deserve for that behavior. That's what's happening here.

For reference, here is a list I compiled a while ago of all the scummy things Uber does that would make one glad to see it go.[1]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13793923


Outside of the sexual harassment claims, literally none of this is different than any other huge tech company out there. People want to see Uber failing has a lot more to do with narrative than reality. People have created a caricature out of Uber's failings and applied it to every aspect of the company. It's starting to feel like an agenda more than actual concerns, it's pretty annoying actually. Once Uber is gone, if it ever goes, people will move on to Lyft or the next threat to the status quo. AirBnB and Uber are the current enemies because they endanger established businesses more than anything else. They don't have heavy B2B relationships like the other big players (Amazon, Google, etc) so they are naturally the targets of business that have no interest in seeing them succeed. This has a long history of happening well before Uber existed, people want to protect their interests and create and build upon a narrative of rapacious heartlessness.


I won't lie to you and say I don't have an anti-Uber agenda. I do. I would like them to fail and go away.

But you have cause and effect backwards. I feel this way about Uber because of all the things they do; I didn't feel this way and then decide to find evidence to support my feelings. Lyft isn't great, either, hell, neither are taxi companies, but they aren't saturating the world with crappy behavior like Uber is. Given how universal Uber's misbehavior is - even my list is only partial coverage - I don't see how it doesn't apply to "every aspect of the company."

At what point would you draw a line and say "this behavior pattern is unethical and shouldn't be encouraged/enabled" when we're talking about a big company? That is, if Uber doesn't fit the bill, who does - does anyone?


> Outside of the sexual harassment claims, literally none of this is different than any other huge tech company out there.

The Waymo lawsuit/Levandowski affair is clearly looking WAY out of the norm for any huge tech company, especially since it's looking more and more like Uber may have colluded from the beginning (discussed previously https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13860890 )


> Outside of the sexual harassment claims

"They look much better if you ignore this one massive problem!" is not a defense.

> literally none of this is different than any other huge tech company out there

"Everybody else does it too!" is not a defense.


To be fair, other CEOs are not constantly acting like a jerk to everyone. Maybe Travis will be more likable if he follows the footsteps of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and pledge to give the majority of his wealth.


Many items on that list aren't actually bad things, they're just described using language with negative connotations.

For example

>Uber breaks laws all around the world to enrich itself, including allegedly trying to deceive government officials across the world.[4]

Detecting malicious users and protecting drivers by shadowbanning malicious users is neither illegal nor wrong. Uber has no legal nor moral obligation to help the governments entrap its drivers, or perform sting operations. [1]

> It refuses to treat its drivers as true employees, even though legally they are considered such in many jurisdictions, and only complies when faced with court orders.[6][20]

Stupid jurisdiction should not be complied with above direct legal necessity. Treating uber drivers as full time employees hurts both the drivers and the company (why do you think uber driver pay got lower the more 'benefits' uber is required to provide them?).

People shitting on uber always seem to ignore how much public utility it provides in every town it enters. I remember ~10 years ago when I was in Warsaw, coming back from a new years eve party, and I had to walk ~4 hours to get back home because there was no night public transport in that area, and no taxies were available at all. I was in wasaw again 2 years ago, and in the meantime uber has moved in. Getting a drive back on NYE was trivial - maybe we had to wait 20 minutes, and pay ~4 times more than a taxi would have been (but of course there were no taxis available); but split 4 ways it was still a great deal.

There's a reason people choose to use uber; and there's a reason people choose to be uber drivers. And yes, it sucks to be a taxi driver who has bought his way into a monopoly by buying a permit, and now cannot recoup the cost that easily. I wish there was a way to compensate them at a cost of the people who benefited from bringing in license requirements in the first place. But I don't see one, and in the end I believe it's more important to dismantle the broken system.

[1] http://www.valuewalk.com/2017/03/greyball-uber-app/


> Stupid jurisdiction should not be complied with above direct legal necessity.

Uber is breaking the law in these jurisdictions. That's what the court orders are for. Are you suggesting that it's okay to adopt a policy of "we'll break the law until we get caught" on the basis of not liking the law?


> Are you suggesting that it's okay to adopt a policy of "we'll break the law until we get caught"

Yep, that's called civil disobedience. As long as they pay the fines, I don't think it's wrong to break a bad law.


Do you believe, then, that Uber breaks these laws as a form of protest, rather than because they want to maximie profit and eating the fines won't hurt their bottom line? What evidence do you have to support that belief, if so?


I think Uber breaks the laws because the people making decisions in uber do not see the laws as useful, and I agree with that opinion. And if the fines for breaking the law aren't hurting their bottom line, it's a win-win - presumably the fines are calculated to more than offset any public harm done.

When you hear a company break an actually meaningful law, the outrage isn't "X is breaking the law!", it's "X is doing <bad thing>". And yes, some of the outrage about uber does take the shape of the latter, and some of it is actually bad. But a lot of criticism is "Uber is breaking <law X> in <country Y>", and you'd only say that if the law in question is actually ridiculous.


You didn't really answer my question, but I think the answer can be inferred: A law Uber finds unuseful is any law that costs them money. Why do you trust Uber with this power? Why would you trust _any_ corporation with this kind of power? They are not and will never be your ally. They are only out for themselves. Laws at least are meant to apply to everyone. You may agree with their individual decisions, or you may be against the individual laws they choose to violate, but the overall idea of "it's OK for them to break the laws I agree are bad" doesn't work when they start breaking ones you _don't_ agree are bad. You cannot and should not give them that kind of trust.


>A law Uber finds unuseful is any law that costs them money. Why do you trust Uber with this power? Why would you trust _any_ corporation with this kind of power? They are not and will never be your ally. They are only out for themselves. Laws at least are meant to apply to everyone.

But all corporations already have that power. There is nothing you can do to stop someone from breaking a law if they think doing it, even after accounting for any negative consequences the society might apply to them, will benefit them.

> the overall idea of "it's OK for them to break the laws I agree are bad" doesn't work when they start breaking ones you _don't_ agree are bad.

Um, sure does? Just because I'm saying "don't punish people for breaking stupid laws" doesn't mean "don't punish people for doing things that are wrong". Especially if doing those wrong things also broke laws!

I am not saying that Uber should be excused in anything they do. I'm saying that if you're complaining about Uber doing X, you should do it by pointing out how X is wrong, not how X is illegal. There are many things that are illegal but aren't wrong (see for example how Americans treat speed limits); there are many things that are wrong but aren't illegal. You should be outraged when someone does something wrong, not when someone does something illegal.


> I think Uber breaks the laws because the people making decisions in uber do not see the laws as useful, and I agree with that opinion.

I don't see speed limits and red lights as useful, because they slow me down. If I were rich and amoral enough, I could drive however I wanted, pay the fines, and simply not care.

Laws are created by a democratic society, and individual members don't get to unilaterally declare that laws are "not useful" while still remaining members of that society.


Why not both? Do you think that ending segregation wasn't also a major opportunity booster for the african american community? Is it impossible for something in your own interest to also be just?


It can be both, but see my reply to the latest comment in the chain. It's unwise to rely on it being both; you cannot write a blank check to a corporate entity to break rules just because you usually agree with the outcomes of breaking those rules.


But the point is you don't have to write a blank check. You can evaluate the breaches on a case by case basis.


The laws are corrupt. Best way to get rid of corrupt laws is to break them.


> Stupid jurisdiction should not be complied with above direct legal necessity

Kalanick or you don't get to decide which laws are stupid and should therefore be broken. There's an established process for that. And on the empirical level, it's not enough to show that customers and drivers are choosing to do business with Uber. If that were the standard, not single law protecting workers, customers, or third parties would be necessary.

Also, 'jurisdiction' means something different than you think,


> Kalanick or you don't get to decide which laws are stupid and should therefore be broken.

Every person for themselves decides which law they should obey and which ones they should break.

> There's an established process for that.

And the process pretty much always starts with people deciding to disobey the law, and the law being adjusted later on to match public expectations.

> Also, 'jurisdiction' means something different than you think,

Yes, I meant to type regulation, ~corrected~ (ETA: not corrected because I can't edit anymore) with thanks


> Every person for themselves decides which law they should obey and which ones they should break.

Corporations are not people. And even if we're only talking about Kalanick, while one may choose what laws to break or not, that doesn't exclude one from prosecution for laws one has broken. You don't get to pick and choose like that.

Your basic proposition here is that rules you don't like shouldn't have to apply to you. Society cannot function that way.


> Your basic proposition here is that rules you don't like shouldn't have to apply to you. Society cannot function that way.

No, I never said that? Obviously when you break a law you should be prepared to face the consequences for breaking that law, as stated in the law. That's the baseline of paying fines. (And then possibly contesting the fines in court or building a public case for changing the law based on being fined for something really silly).

What is not necessarily good is the additional public punishment for breaking a law; whether in form of bad PR, people boycotting them, protests, etc. That outrage should not be encouraged based on legality of actions, but only based on their morality.


> Uber has no legal nor moral obligation to help the governments entrap its drivers, or perform sting operations.

Uber does, however, have obligations to obey the law. Part of which would include not using technology to hide law-breaking actions from local law enforcement.


> Part of which would include not using technology to hide law-breaking actions from local law enforcement.

I very much doubt there's a legal clause specifying that uber has to provide service to undercover agents. If there was, I expect uber's legal department would not allow that program to go through.


If you're lying to a government agency, that's almost certainly breaking some law. I suspect that Illinois's §31-4 applies here (assuming this were in Illinois):

(a) A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he or she knowingly commits any of the following acts:

(1) Destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information

(I'm not sure if the "prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense" would apply case, but I'm not about to try traipsing through Illinois law decisions to find precedence).


They didn't lie in response to any official requests by the agency; they lied to incognito agents.


If they knew that these agents were investigating possible mis-behavior or law-breaking on the part of Uber then Uber (and the people who coded up this cute little internal service) are now involved in a conspiracy. The neat thing about conspiracy is that it is much easier to prove/convict than the actual criminal activity.


> Uber does, however, have obligations to obey the law.

The law does not state that you have to do certain things. It states what consequences arise from actions you may or may not chose to take, and get caught performing those actions.

UPS and Fedex drivers routinely double park on streets to make deliveries, and pay the fines. They have a fund to pay the fines with, and count it as the cost of doing business. The law doesn't obligate anybody to do anything.


The question is whether market capital wants to see those who behave poorly get what they deserve for that behavior (and its idea of 'deserve' may be somewhat counterintuitive).

Evil is more profitable than good, because of externalities. The question is, how MUCH more profitable, and for how long? There are also patterns to consider which have to do with over-reaching, hubris and inability to work within any external context.

Uber is the kind of evil that doesn't play nicely with other evil. It's an extraordinary profit opportunity and treated as such, right up to the point where it explodes. The whole thing is based on conflict and dominating everything it touches, but it escalates where it doesn't have to: it can only continue to grow when it's not meaningfully opposed.

As such, Uber doing evil actions isn't meaningful, but Uber running afoul of Google in legal conflict is meaningful. Government and law aren't rich enough to oppose Uber, but Google is, and if Uber prevails against Google that drastically weakens Google.

I think it'll go the other way. Google is like a considerably more restrained Uber. They're in a position to do what governments and laws cannot.


Kalanick forgot that proverb we're taught as kids: "Be nice to the people you pass on the way up, because you'll be seeing them again on the way back down."


Uber's board is failing the company and the public right now.


What is the role of "President" of the company? Where does that title fit in to an org chart or relate to the C-level execs? I am not familiar with this title in tech companies.


I am the President of my company, and the founder. I gave up the CEO title to someone who bought a piece of my business. The way we split it is:

President (me): Head of corporate strategy, networking, and vision. (I also am the acting CTO but that's kind of not relevant here)

CEO (him): Fiscal policy, hiring planning, org chart projections, etc. He is the main executor of plans and also somewhat the Chief Revenue Officer. He's also the COO and his work is more meaningful in being the ops director, actually.

I loved giving up the CEO title. I don't want it back. Ever.

EDIT: Essentially the President title is flexible. In my company's case, I am the head of the entity and the buck stops with me for 85-90% of use cases across 30+ employees. But that's not always the case.


Thanks, interesting division of duties. I think as a title it's certainly more common in non-tech companies. Oddly though the VP title seems to be a dime a dozen. I have worked at many places where there was department with one or two people and one of them was the VP.


Hmm. We don't have any VPs. Maybe we need to add some.

Also should be noted that I guess the company I run isn't really a tech company. We do sports science stuff.


In many states there is no requirement (or legal recognition) of the CxO titles - to be incorporated there you need to name only a Secretary. All other titles are for business focus reasons.


Sure, Secretary is very old school. I also think the C titles are relatively new compared to President and Secretary.


I don't understand the obsession by the press, VCs, and even consumers for Uber. I know it has changed the dynamic of transportation for many people. I know it has changed the dynamic of self-employment for many people. I know it has changed the dynamic of regulation for many cities. Oh wait. Ok I get it now. All that said, it's remarkable that ride sharing is the pinnacle of startup valuation in this latest wave of startups.


I love this thread. TK is loving this. GaryV is loving this too.

Go build an Uber. Do it. Please. I wish you all the successes of this world.

Worry about yourself, not Uber.


In the assumption that any news is better then no news. Has the bad publicity contributed in a decline or increase of installations / usage for Uber?


Hypergrowth is a lot like cancer. Either they take swift action to excise all the toxic elements or it is going to be a slow and steady decline.


Jones saw the writing on the wall...


"That was not the reason for Jones’ departure, sources said, even though it meant that Kalanick was bringing in a new exec who could outrank him. Instead, these sources said, Jones determined that the situation at the company was more problematic than he realized."


Why did you quote the article and not add a comment? I read that in the article so adding it here doesn't add any value to the discussion.


I appreciate somebody extracting the money quote. I don't even remotely have time to read everything posted here.


Same, I scan trough comments way more than I scan through articles.


So we might as well paste the articles in the comments section?


Thought it was useful to give the reason he was quitting, as indicated by the text.

Guess it didn't help here. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


A regurgitation of what I read in the article is supposed to be helpful? It appears from reading the rest of the comments more than I come to discuss not just re-read what we already read in an article.

I guess if we throw a cute face in its supposed to be innocently acceptable too right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The loss of context can be dangerous and misleading.


I am glad someone understands my concern with pasting a single quote from an article without context. Here it may be valuable, other articles perhaps not.


I'll be the judge of that.


Without the context?


If the summary is truly eyebrow-raising then yes, I'd move the little pointer to the top of the screen and click the link. Whatever point you are trying to make here seems way overblown.


The reason I commented was the part he quoted could have been the title for the submission. It wasn't adding value to any discussion so I felt it wasn't needed.

You and some others disagree with my point of view but judging by the amount of discussion on this post, I suspect majority agrees with me. And by that I mean pasting a quote without any additional context or comments isn't adding valuable discussion to hackernews threads. I come here for the discussion so the OP was off putting to me.


I really hope that Uber serves as a warning to companies who think they can ignore customer complaints. I've never dealt with such an opaque company in my entire life, in terms of getting any actual human support whatsoever regarding anything.


Google wants to have a word with you. Or rather, they don't want to, and won't let you if you do.


I pay for Google Apps. Their phone support is excellent. They literally built a feature for me (compliance-related tags in Vault) within a few days of my call.


> I really hope that Uber serves as a warning to companies who think they can ignore customer complaints. I've never dealt with such an opaque company in my entire life, in terms of getting any actual human support whatsoever regarding anything.

I've had positive experiences interacting with Uber support. The few times I've contacted them via the app to report an issue with a ride I've gotten a response relatively quickly and I think every single time ended up with them crediting me back either the full value of the ride or at least a token amount. As a customer, I think Uber's been awesome.

But that's not what any of the recent talk about Uber is about. The issues are about being there as an employee, the culture they promote, and the values they espouse.


>But that's not what any of the recent talk about Uber is about. The issues are about being there as an employee, the culture they promote, and the values they espouse.

I really think it is related, though. Those values flow from the top down, and when executives set the tone for treating people unfairly the rest of the business will suffer down to the lowest level of employees.


That's what media has you believe. And you fell for it, and probably made them some money with pageviews.

Sure there are many problems with Uber, but user-facing is not one. You saying 'I really think it's related' is just your opinion, and every ordinary person I know (who don't hate them for social justice purposes) love Uber and their service.


>That's what media has you believe. And you fell for it,

No, being left stranded in the middle of nowhere because of Uber payment issues in the past has me believe this.


Then keep using taxis. Good luck


In the cases where I've had a sub-par experience with Uber in the past, I've had the opposite experience. Giving a poor rating for the trip triggered a response from a Uber employee who resolved the complaint. This was quite a while ago, so things may have changed and YMMV.


Have you had a positive experience getting in contact with any human customer support person at Google?


When I'm paying for a product, sure.


I pay for Google Voice International Calls and my account was banned for a full 24 hours, meaning no VoIP calls out or in. No reason was given, no support available. It's hardly a standard across paid Google apps.


What kind of issues have you had? Every time I emailed ubers customer support after an unsatisfactory or badly charged trip, I had the trip fully refunded, and the customer contact was pleasant and understanding.


Every complaint I've sent has been acted on, every refund I ask for I get. Uber Eats seems to have much worst customer service than Uber in Australia anyway.


I wonder if it's a good idea to apply to Uber. With all the controversy, you could argue for a pretty good salary bump or signing bonus to compensate.

Though, if executives are quitting after 6 months even before their stock vests, maybe it's more than just the outrage machine news clamoring for clicks and views.


There's lots of other companies out there that are paying good salaries that don't have these problems. It doesn't make sense to me to seek out a ship that's taking on water to sign up for. I know some Uber employees and none of them are happy with the situation.


Of course it makes sense, they would be more desperate to hire and you would have less competition from others who have ethical problems with Uber.


How are you so blase about jumping into a toxic work environment? A little bit more money isn't worth those conditions, assuming you could even get it. And keep in mind that a lot of the compensation is going to be in Uber equity -- which is affected by this scandal.


The people I know at Uber don't think it's a toxic work environment and I have no reason to distrust them in favor of a couple of accusatory blog posts from disgruntled ex-employees that I've never met.


The people I know at Uber say differently. But whatever, it's your life and your decision. I wouldn't go work there now.


You're probably right. The self-driving car stuff sounded like fun too, but not if you're being sued over it.


This Uber story, where scandals just kept dropping struck me as very suspicious. Like Google just randomly got CCed by a supplier? You want me to believe that?

I was suspicious but who could be behind it, and why? Who is telling people to air the dirt that's undoubtedly very real, but that they have been just sitting on for a long time, at this particular moment?

I recently learned that Kalanick is very close to Trump, and given that this started just after the election that would seem the likeliest explanation.


Are you claiming that Jeff Jones applied for a took a job with Uber just so he could resign 6 months later to create a controversy?


No, I didn't mean to imply that. I'd say either he is not part of the shadiness at all, or he left because someone applied pressure on him recently.

But this is just my guesswork.

(Switching account because I didn't store the old password... Wrote this password down)


People in general send attachments to the wrong people, add the wrong person on a thread fairly often, or add someone to a thread on purpose without thinking about what was in all the quoted stuff that shouldn't be shared with that person. It's totally believable that it happened on accident. It also could have been a plausible accident on purpose by the person at the supplier. Even if the supplier disclosed on purpose though, it doesn't excuse the apparent conduct that was discovered because of the disclosure.


> He is leaving after apparently deciding the current controversies are too much to handle.

Not exactly leadership material.

Edit: Apparently an unpopular opinion. Do those here think otherwise given he joined the company less than a year ago (and is thus not part of the original culture), but instead could try to repair the damage done by the uber-bro culture instead of looking for an easier paycheck?


> but instead could try to repair the damage done by the uber-bro culture instead of looking for an easier paycheck?

You seem to assume that b/c he left after half a year he didn't try and just wants to get easy money somewhere else. I wouldn't be so quick to that assumption and that's probably what makes your opinion unpopular.

If I'd feel that after half a year I hadn't gotten anywhere, I'd get out too. Regardless of the pay check since one way or another I'm not able to have any meaningful impact on the organisation and its mission. I don't know if that's the case, but that's an equally reasonable assumption given what we know about Uber's culture. However, since we don't know one way or another it might be nice to assume good faith over cop-out or incompetence.


Your comment is probably getting downvoted because it makes some unvalidated implied assumptions that may not be true. I would absolutely leave a position like that if I discovered that the company didn't actual have the will to do what was necessary in order to fix the problems. A year would certainly be enough time to determine that and Jeff Jones departure could just as easily be read in that way rather than a lack of leadership.

On the other hand the article also says that he doesn't really like conflict so that it may be that the very toxic culture he would need to be fixing is distasteful enough to him that he just doesn't want to deal with it. This doesn't say anything disparaging about him other than perhaps that he is sane and rational and Uber has a really big culture problem.


> Apparently an unpopular opinion. Do those here think otherwise given he joined the company less than a year ago (and is thus not part of the original culture), but instead could try to repair the damage done by the uber-bro culture instead of looking for an easier paycheck?

Maybe 'uber-bro culture' is not actually a thing, and he doesn't see a possible solution for the PR problems?

It's really hard to stop the hatetrain.


That depends on where the train is directed: At the company as a whole, or at another set of company heads who ignore serious or hard problems?

I doubt the entire company is tainted, but it does have issues that need to be led by people who will address in something other a Facebook AMA.


> Not exactly leadership material.

The reason it's unpopular is because it's just that. An opinion with no inside view of the situation.

Many times, it's better to just bow out of a bad situation, if you're not given the power to change it, or if the situation was mis-represented to you, or both.

Chalking this up to not being leadership material is intellectually lazy and flip.


Don't you think he tried?


Maybe not hard enough: http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/16/14643634/uber-public-faceb...

"the session did not go over all that smoothly. In total, Jones answered only 12 questions on his public Facebook post"


you know he's not the CEO right?


Correct, he was president. Not exactly unempowered.




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