Two weeks since mass layoffs, Uber names Google vet as VP of global marketing

Thomas Ranese joins from Google

Uber has finalized the line-up of its overhauled marketing leadership with the hire of Thomas Ranese as vice-president of global marketing.

Ranese, who joins less than two weeks after chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi laid off 400 of Uber’s in-house marketers, will be responsible for marketing for all of the company’s products and businesses internationally, heading up its brand, creative, research and regional marketing teams.

He joins after 10 years at Google, where he most recently headed up its global hardware marketing for products such as Pixel and Nest. His decade at the tech firm also saw him lead marketing for its Brand Studio and Android offers.

Before joining Google, Ranese was the chief marketing officer of New York State, where he notably revived the ‘I Love NY’ campaign.

In a statement, Uber said his work during his time at Empire State Development jointly demonstrated “he is passionate about local communities and understands the opportunities and challenges for Uber at the local level”.

Ranese will report into Jill Hazelbaker, who was named senior vice-president of marketing and public affairs by the tech brand after the departure of its first chief marketing officer, Rebecca Messina, in June. Next to him sits Mike Strickman, vice-president of performance marketing, who was hired in July.

The hire ostensibly completes Uber’s overhaul of its marketing department, which climaxed in July’s mass layoffs. In a memo, Khosrowshahi said the redundancies were designed to help Uber “get [its] edge back” after growing too bloated in the marketing department.

In an announcement, Hazelbaker described Ranese as a “brilliant strategist and a beloved people manager with deep global marketing expertise”.

The Google vet added: “Uber is one of the rare companies that’s become a verb – and an iconic brand that’s redefining how we move, eat, work and more in cities around the world.

"As Dara has said, marketing is more important to Uber than ever, and I’m excited to work with teams around the world to strengthen our marketing capabilities, drive growth, and help transform the Uber brand."

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