Uber is having a turbulent year, with sexism claims which led to an urgent investigation following the release of Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s blog surrounding her time at the company at the start of the year.
Since then, the company has been strenuously working to eradicate all forms of discrimination in the workplace, to the point the company has recently fired over 20 employees as the result of the sexism investigation.
It has recently been announced that the company has now appointed former Head of Marketing for Apple Music Bozoma Saint John as Uber’s new Chief Brand Officer in order to turn the company’s image around. Saint John informed Variety, “I don’t think it will be a surprise to anybody that I consider myself a change agent. I love new challenges and the fact that I have the opportunity to create and craft and execute a brand vision. There aren’t many chances to do that, so to me this is irresistible — it’s really a great opportunity to join a team that is looking for help in changing and building a brand.”
Saint John’s appointment is one step towards diversity within Uber and the technological sector, where the number of women in the sector is a long-standing problem for tech giants. However, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has stated that Saint John “has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love. 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.”
Saint John’s experience is heavily within the marketing industry, working for not only Apple Music, but previously worked at Beats by Dr Dre prior to its acquisition. Leading and influencing teams within the music scene, St John has also been the Head of Music and Entertainment Marketing at PepsiCo, working on famous campaigns to drive these businesses forward. Nonetheless, St John has explained that although Uber continues to succeed, many consumers have been put off by the company due to the ongoing investigations, and needs to win back historic customers to use the innovative service.
I feel very much, from my gut, that Uber is a story that needs to be told from a human perspective,” she says. “Now it’s time to tell the human story.”
“This needs to be a people-first type of perspective, and I want to tell those stories that I know are going to be interesting to all consumers — tell the rider story, the driver story, how can I better craft what is happening from a storyline standpoint to make sure that comes to the forefront of what is already an incredible service.