Uber Taps Target (TGT) Marketing Chief Jones as Ridesharing President
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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick posted the following to the company's blog on Tuesday:
I’m excited to announce that Jeff Jones, Chief Marketing Officer at Target, will be joining Uber as President, Ridesharing. Jeff will be responsible for Uber’s operations, marketing and customer support globally.
Ryan Graves, who has been with us from the start, will continue to be integrally involved with Uber as our resident entrepreneur and builder. This will include bringing his unique brand of optimistic leadership to our People Operations, helping to build uberEVERYTHING (EATS, RUSH, and others) with Jason Droege, and working with me on a number of upcoming strategic projects.
It’s big news and I wanted to explain my thinking.
Over the last six months, Ryan and I have become increasingly convinced that our rapidly growing marketing efforts needed to be far more integrated with our city operations. Marketing is about storytelling, about attracting, engaging and retaining customers. Of course, a majority of our city operations are focused on exactly that, but those efforts have been isolated from many of our marketing functions. Our vision is simple: to redefine how a large operations effort can be tightly integrated with a customer-obsessed marketing strategy.
Here’s our two-pronged strategy to change that:
- Organization: Rewire city efforts so that they tightly integrate with branding, marketing initiatives and strategy. This will help everyone obsess about the customer, with clearer metrics on what matters and tighter ownership of P&Ls across city and regional teams.
- Leadership: Find a world-class leader that could bring deep experience in marketing and brand building, as we fuse a growing marketing spend with extensive global operations that power a $20B+/year ridesharing business.
This is obviously a big change, which is why we’ve been thinking about it for months. Ryan is the progenitor of everything Uber Operations—setting the gold standard for what it means to run a truly great operations team in the on-demand world. But as we grow, marketing is becoming more and more of a thing, and it was clear we needed a real infusion of talent on that front. So we went big.
As we move into the next phase at Uber, one in which we will build a global brand infused in every customer interaction, I cannot think of a better person to lead us on this journey than Jeff. He has a long track record of working with the best: he’s held leadership roles at the best creative agencies (Leo Burnett), consumer products companies (Coca-Cola) and retailers (Target and Gap).
We first met in February at TED immediately after my talk. Within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation. And since then we’ve discussed everything from profitability to brand love and how to differentiate our driver experience most effectively. It’s super clear to me that Jeff understands scale, operational excellence, innovation and storytelling—and that he’s up for learning and testing his limits. Most of all I love Jeff’s optimism about, and enthusiasm for, our mission.
This is a great opportunity to celebrate all Ryan’s successes and to welcome Jeff to Uber. Our journey continues and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next.
—Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder
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