Uber has image and corporate culture issues and they’ve hired Bozoma Saint John to help fix them. Bozoma is a former head of music and entertainment marketing at PepsiCo, where she inked its $50 million sponsorship deal with Beyoncé.
She joined Apple in 2014 after its acquisition of Beats by Dre.
“Boz” stepped onto the global stage a year ago at the Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference, where she demonstrated Apple Music’s new user interface while getting the
lame crowd to rap Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.”
Bozoma has joined Uber as its first chief brand officer. “The beauty of a new role is sort of [my ability to] define it,” Saint John told 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.”
It’s a high profile position at a trying time for Uber, which is desperately working to improve its work culture and reputation.
At a staff meeting on Tuesday, Uber employees were notified that 215 harassment claims filed had been investigated.
The 215 claims included discrimination, unprofessional behavior and bullying — as well as sexual harassment, according to a source who attended the all hands meeting.
Uber told employees on Tuesday that it has fired 20 people after conducting an investigation into harassment at the company.
Bozoma Saint John To the Rescue
“Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement Tuesday.
“Her creativity and deep understanding of consumers will allow us to build the same love and appreciation for Uber’s brand as we’ve built for Uber’s service.”
In an interview with Variety, Boz said, “I’m not going to deny that coming to Uber is a statement.
I have the full commitment of the leadership team to do my job and do it well regardless and outside of being a woman and a person of color.
The first and foremost thing is for me to do a good job as an executive, and I plan to do that. The benefit of being a woman and a person of color just adds to it.”
“I’ve always been part of the internal groups and advocacies for women and people of color at every company I’ve been at. This is not new to me — I plan to continue being an advocate for women and people of color everywhere.”