Report: Uber COO Barney Harford And CMO Rebecca Messina Depart Following Management Shakeup

By Annie Baker ● June 9, 2019
  • Uber chief operating officer Barney Harford and chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina are departing from Uber amidst a management shake-up
  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is going to be more hands-on in the COO role and the marketing, communications and policy teams are being combined

Uber chief operating officer Barney Harford and chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina are departing from the ride-sharing company amidst a management shake-up about a month after the company went public, according to CNBC.

In an email to employees, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that he now has more time to be directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the company due to recent progress. And so he decided that the heads of Uber’s core businesses can report to him directly.

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“This will allow me to be more hands on and help our leaders problem-solve in real time, while also ensuring that we make our platform vision a reality,” wrote Khosrowshahi in the email via CNBC. And Khosrowshahi said Harford agreed that the COO role “no longer makes sense” as a result of the changes.

And Uber’s marketing, communications and policy teams are being combined. The combined unit will be led by Uber’s SVP of communications and public policy Jill Hazelbaker. Hazelbaker joined Uber in 2015 after working in a similar role at Snap and Google. Hazelbaker also worked as the press secretary for the Mike Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 campaign and the National Communications Director for the John McCain for President campaign in 2007.

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Messina was originally hired in September 2018 and she was the first person at Uber to have that role. While at Uber, she handled the marketing initiatives involving reputation issues over the resignation of Travis Kalanick and rumors about a hostile work culture. Plus Messina worked closely with the company’s international marketing teams. Before joining Uber, Messina was the SVP and Global CMO of Beam Suntory for about 2.5 years and various marketing executive roles at Coca-Cola for more than 21 years.

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And interestingly, Harford previously worked under Khosrowshahi before. Harford became CEO of Orbitz in 2009 and he sold the company to Expedia in 2015 for $1.6 billion while Khosrowshahi was CEO of Expedia. Plus Harford was the president of Expedia for Asia Pacific from 2004-2006.