Uber poaches TomTom's Patrick Stal to lead EMEA marketing

Stal confirmed his move to Uber on LinkedIn

Uber has enlisted Patrick Stal as its head of marketing EMEA, poaching him from TomTom to spearhead its efforts in the region.

His appointment comes amid a turbulent time for the ride-hailing app, with chief executive Travis Kalanick having stepped down in June amid a shareholder revolt. The firm has also recently hired former Apple marketing executive Bozoma Saint John as chief brand officer to help it clean up its image.

Stal has worked for navigation giant TomTom since 2015, most recently serving as vice-president of communications for the brand's consumer business. He has previously held positions at Interbrand and management consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates.

He confirmed his appointment on LinkedIn, saying: "Today, I opened the door to an entirely new challenge as head of marketing for EMEA at Uber. I'm ridiculously excited to be joining a hugely talented group of people and build one of the strongest brands in tech with them."

He also told his followers to watch out for updates and vacancies, hinting at plans to build out the company's marketing department. His announcement comes just days after Uber appointed Sanjay Gupta to the same role in India.

Uber has faced a series of PR crises over the past 12 months. Earlier this year it faced claims from a former employee alleging she had suffered sexual harassment while working for the company. Twenty people were fired as a result, causing further woes for the brand following a spate of legal challenges and a social media campaign to #DeleteUber after it lifted surge pricing during a protest at against Donald Trump’s US travel ban.

Earlier this year, the brand unveiled its first UK TV campaign. The BBH spot was directed by 'This Girl Can' director Kim Gehrig and looked to showcase how the app puts users in control and takes them to all manner of places seamlessly.

The Drum has reached out to TomTom to find out if Stal will be directly replaced, at the time of publication the company had yet to respond.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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