Uber’s CMO Rebecca Messina is out after less than a year

Rebecca Messina

Uber’s chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina is to exit the company after just nine months in the role, with current policy and communication chief Jill Hazelbaker set to take over her responsibilities.

Her departure came alongside that of Barney Harford, Uber’s chief operating officer.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed the shake-up in an email sent to employees on Friday (7 June).

“Over the years, I’ve learned that at every critical milestone, it’s important to step back and think about how best to organize for the future. Given that we’re a month past the IPO, now is one of those times,” he wrote.

“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.”

Messina was a surprising choice for the role when she joined Uber last October, taking over from brand boss Bozoma Saint John who lasted little over a year at the company.

Much of Messina’s career had been spent working for beverage brands, most recently two years at spirits company Beam Suntory as global chief marketing officer and prior to that a 22-year stint at Coca-Cola where she rose through the ranks to become senior vice president, marketing and innovation for ventures and emerging brands.

Harford said at the time her “deep experience in building global brands” would make her a “terrific leader for Uber’s marketing teams around the world” while Khosrowshahi called her “exactly the right leader” to build its marketing efforts following a tumultuous couple of years which rocked the brand's public and internal-facing image.

However, Uber has since consolidated its policy, communications, and marketing teams into one division led by Jill Hazelbaker, who will now assume Messina’s responsibilities.

Khosrowshahi said of Messina’s departure that “marketing is so important to our business, and our brand continues to be challenged.”

“Since joining Uber nearly four years ago, Jill has been instrumental in addressing some of our toughest challenges as a company,” he said. “She’s an excellent team builder and always committed to doing what’s best for Uber.”

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