Uber Appoints Barney Harford as First-Ever COO

By Sandeepnewstyle [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Uber has appointed the company’s first-ever chief operating officer. He is a British executive from the travel world who also formerly worked with Dara Khosrowshahi, the newly installed chief executive of the startup.

Barney Harford will assume the leadership role which was first floated under Travis Kalanick, the former chief and founder in order to keep him in check.

Bloomberg reports that the former chief executive of Orbitz, a travel site, who originally hails from Manchester, will become the second in command of Uber after acting as an adviser, and will supervise global operations, customer support, marketing, and UberEats.

Harford and Khosrowshahi previously worked together at Expedia, which Khosrowshahi vacated as the boss in order to take on the challenge at the ride-hailing company, and which Harford left as the president of Asia Pacific prior to transferring to Orbitz.

Harford said in a tweet: “Thrilled to be joining Uber as COO. Looking fwd to working w Dara again to help Uber achieve its full potential. Uber already does more rides than the world’s airlines combined flies passengers, and provides flexible work opportunities to more people than any other company in the world.

“Two months of ‘try before you buy’ as adviser left me impressed by the passion, smarts and thoughtfulness of the Uber team, and hungry to spend more time with them. The Uber team clearly wants to turn a corner. Am honoured to have the opportunity to play a role in making this important and much needed transition.”

Under the leadership of Kalanick, there had been proposals that the company was seeking to hire a woman in order to fill the role at a time when the company was under serious scrutiny due to allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic work environment for women. Since then, there had also been reports that the position might be scrapped altogether.