Uber's head of finance, Gautam Gupta, is stepping down in July to join another San Francisco company, according to the Wall Street Journal. His departure comes as the e-hail giant begins to narrow its losses: Uber reportedly took a loss of $708 million in the first quarter, down from $991 million the quarter prior. Revenues are also up 18%, totaling $3.4 billion. Still, Uber faces challenges, not least of which include hiring a chief operating officer and a chief financial officer amid allegations of a "broken" company culture. And there are also big questions about Uber's business model and its ability to deliver returns for investors.
The announcement of Gupta's departure comes a day after the company fired the head of its self-driving unit, Anthony Levandowski, who refused to comply with a request to hand over documents that Google's Waymo unit had accused him of stealing. Several other executives have left the company during its time of turmoil. In March, Uber president Jeff Jones quit, citing differences over "beliefs and approach to leadership." Ed Baker, Uber's VP of product and growth, also left in March, and Uber's head of public policy, Rachel Whetstone, left in April. Amit Singhal, Uber's SVP of engineering, was asked to leave earlier in the year after failing to disclose that he'd left his previous employer, Google, over disputed sexual harassment allegations.
Despite a hiring spree last year, a flood of departures may not be entirely surprising. Earlier this month, the Information reported, longtime employees of Uber found it easier to quit the company, thanks to a change in policy that gives ex-employees more time to exercise their stock options.
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