Uber’s COO and Chief Marketing Officer to Step Down: Report

Uber’s (UBER) Chief Operating Officer Barney Harford and Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Messina are stepping down, according to a broadcast report Friday.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made the announcement in an email to employees, saying that Harford will stay on with the company until July 1, CNBC reported.

“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,” he wrote. “Given this, Barney and I have agreed that the COO role no longer makes sense, and he’s decided to leave Uber. Barney is a talented businessperson, and I can’t thank him enough for all of his contributions in helping get us to and through the IPO.”

Khosrowshahi said he would be making additional changes in the company’s structure, including marketing.

“Finally, it’s increasingly clear that it’s crucial for us to have a consistent, unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press, and policymakers,” he wrote. “So I’ve decided to combine our Marketing, Communications, and Policy teams into one, led by Jill (Hazelbaker). Given this, Rebecca and I have agreed it makes sense for her to move on. In Rebecca’s time here, she stood up our first global marketing organization and helped showcase the best aspects of our brand during our IPO.”

The ride sharing company went public last month and has struggled in the period following the initial public offering. Shares closed down Friday 1.7% to $44.16.

“There’s never really a right time to announce departures or changes like this, but with the IPO behind us, I felt this was a good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future,” Khosrowshahi said.

Wedbush analysts were quick to react to the report saying in a note Friday “This news comes as a shock to the Street and clearly one of the last things investors wanted to see with the stock currently coming under pressure.”

However, they added that “While the timing of these executives departures so soon after the IPO will raise some eyebrows for investors and add more pressure on Dara & Co. in the near term we believe this move is better to happen sooner rather than later.”

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