A high-powered former Apple executive is looking to revamp Uber’s company brand image amidst a string of bad press for the Silicon Valley ride-sharing company.
Bozoma Saint John has departed from the Cupertino-based tech giant to hop on board Uber’s corporate team in the newly minted position, Chief Brand Officer.
Saint John was formerly the head of global consumer marketing for Apple and prior to that head of music and entertainment marketing for Pepsi, according to her LinkedIn account.
“The beauty of a new role is sort of [my ability to] define it,” Saint John told tech Recode in an interview. “My background is in marketing. That’s what I’m going to be focused on mostly. [But] I reserve the right to change it a little bit. The business is going to continue to grow and change and perhaps the needs for marketing and branding will change in six months.”
She will report to Francis Frei, the new SVP of leadership and strategy.
Uber recently fired 20 of its employees and is undergoing investigations on 57 others for actions ranging from sexual harassment to bullying, according to Bloomberg. The law firm Uber hired to conduct these investigations, Perkins Coie, has dismissed 100 of the original 215 claims it was looking into, but the remaining 115 are still in play.
The complete breakdown of these investigations is below:
2/ And here’s a further breakdown of the 215 claims: pic.twitter.com/yLhFGvgmlJ
— Uber Comms (@Uber_Comms) June 6, 2017
Uber has been in the news since announcing its price drop during the highly charged taxi boycott at JFK Airport over the government’s proposed travel ban. Many felt this was an insensitive act by the company which would later prompt the #DeleteUber campaign. Things kicked in high gear when former Uber engineer Susan Fowler made allegations of sexism and sexual harassment at the ride-sharing giant, which prompted the investigations.
Just today, Uber was in the news again after now-fired Uber executive Eric Alexander was accused of hiding medical records of a woman who was sexually assaulted during an Uber ride in India.
Saint John will focus more on overall branding than on the onslaught of scandals.
“I know what I’m walking into,” Saint John told Recode. “I think it’s a really exciting time to tell the story well. Certainly there have been lots of things that have been swirling around [about] Uber but I’m interested in telling the story about the service and what is happening from the brand standpoint.”