Rachel Whetstone, Uber’s head of communications has resigned from her position after serving for two years. Jill Hazelbaker, the top deputy of Whetstone, will take over the position as SVP global public policy and communications. Hazelbaker will head a 300-person department.
Hazelbaker was recently head of communications at Snap briefly. When Senator John McCain ran for president, Hazelbaker was among his staff. She also worked for Conservative politician Michael Howard early in her career.
Through an internal email, Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO, said, “I wanted to let you know that Rachel Whetstone who heads up policy and communications globally has decided to leave Uber. Since joining in 2015, Rachel has blown us all away with her ability to get stuff done. She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an amazing player-coach who has built a first-class organization.”
Uber had a market value of $70 billion in 2015.
Whetstone issued a statement: “I am incredibly proud of the team that we have built- and that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place. I joined Uber because I love the product- and that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my very first ride six years ago.”
Kalanick intends to tap on Whetstone as an adviser. Kalanick wrote, “I am looking forward to having her as an adviser for years to come, with many more long hikes along Skyline Trail.”
Uber continues its rough start to the year. Last month, Uber president Jeff Jones resigned when the Company looked for a chief operating officer. There were also allegations of harassment at Uber by former engineer Susan Fowler which led to former attorney general Eric Holder investigating the case.
Also, Kalanick was caught on a video arguing with an Uber driver, an incident which damaged Uber’s reputation and compelled him to issue an apology and to declare that he needed “leadership help”.
Earlier this year, Uber lost thousands of accounts because of the #DeleteUber boycott campaign. This month, Uber was not allowed to do business in Italy while in London, a protest was staged against Uber by Black cab drivers. Also, Uber has a legal battle with Waymo, regarding driverless car technology. Waymo is a sister company of Google.
Whetstone was instrumental in helping address Uber’s PR crisis. One of her directives was to issue an advanced external investigation into the sexual harassment case of Susan Fowler.
Another high-profile resignation for Uber was Amit Singhal who was Head of Engineering who was tainted with sexual harassment allegations during his stint at Google. Ed Baker, VP of product and growth also resigned last month.
Other Uber executives that left include Raffi Krikorian who was in the self-driving car department and Brian McClendon who was VP for maps and business platform.
Uber increased their senior female executives at the start of 2017 by hiring Liane Hornsey, as human resource head. She was also a former Google executive.