Rachel Whetstone and Uber: What's Going On

It wasn't immediately clear why Whetstone was leaving the company now, at a time when her guidance may be more critical than ever as Uber tries to steady itself after its deep internal issues were brought to light.

"I am incredibly proud of the team that we've built - and that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place", Whetsone said in a statement Tuesday.

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Uber said Whetstone, the company's head of communications, has chose to leave the ride-hailing company. "She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an awesome player-coach who has built a first-class organization", Kalanick wrote, Recode reports. To recap: there was the former employee Susan Fowler who described sexism in the company in a blogpost that rocked social media; Kalanick joined then left Donald Trump's economic advisory council; stories of Uber executives at an escort-karaoke bar in South Korea; and Uber President Jeff Jones resigned in March. This time it's the company's head of communications, Rachel Whetstone, a person who has steered Uber forward in the midst of its recent scandals and heated press coverage. She says that love has not waned even today; it's as strong as the first day she hailed her first Uber ride.

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick has suffered a series of high-level executive departures since the start of the year among reports of the car-sharing app's "toxic culture". Before that, she spent a year leading Snapchat's communications and policy efforts, according to her LinkedIn profile, and was a Google PR exec before that.

Rachel is passing the reins over to her longtime right hand Jill Hazelbaker, our newly minted Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications. As Recode notes, the soon-to-be SVP of Communications at Uber previously worked for Sen. Hazelbaker also has ties to political work, having been a political operative of Senator John McCain on his presidential campaign.

The company is searching for a new chief operating officer to help Kalanick steer the company. "The company has faced crisis after crisis, including a video published by Bloomberg that shows Kalanick arguing brashly with an Uber driver". Uber had to resort to hiring Eric Holder, a former U.S. Attorney General, to conduct investigations in the wake of the allegations.

  • Todd Kelly