Longtime Uber Executive Ryan Graves to Leave Company in September, But Remain on Board of Directors

The executive exodus continued at Uber on Thursday, with the company’s senior vice president of global operations, Ryan Graves, announcing he will leave the company in mid-September.

In an email to staff, Graves said he will remain on Uber’s board of directors and focus on its search for a new CEO. He did not give a reason for his departure beyond his desire for change.

“In some ways my focus going forward will not actually change very much,” Graves said in the email. “It remains all about people, and it’s clear to me the stability of our board of directors, the selection of our new CEO, and the empowerment of our management team is what is needed most. So I will do everything in my power to deliver on those goals for the benefit of our organization and the millions of people — riders, drivers, eaters and couriers — and their communities that Uber serves every day.”

Graves’ departure comes at a tumultuous time for the company. After weathering months of scandals that culminated in the ousting of several high-ranking employees and the resignation of Uber’s co-founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick, the $70-billion ride-hailing giant is without a chief executive officer, a chief operating officer, a chief marketing officer, a head of business, a head of engineering or a general counsel.

A longtime Uber employee who previously served as its chief executive and general manager, Graves worked hand in hand with Kalanick to recruit and train the company’s first drivers seven years ago in San Francisco, according to “The Upstarts,” a book about Airbnb and Uber. It was also Graves, the CEO at the time, who brought in the venture capital firm First Round Capital as Uber’s first big investor.

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SOURCE: LA Times, Tracey Lien