Apple executive, WWDC celebrity Bozoma Saint John joins Uber

In last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the world met Bozoma Saint John in all her glamour and electricity. Donned in a bright pink dress, the Apple marketing executive demo’d the the redesigned Apple Music app and pumped up the crowd — mainly of middle-aged, white men, mind you — to sing along to a 1970’s hip-hop song.

Media outlets took notice of Saint John’s appearance, calling her “the coolest person to ever go onstage at an Apple event.” And it looks Uber also took notice as well.

On Tuesday, Uber hired the Ghana-born, Colorado Springs-raised Saint John as its chief brand officer.

Saint John’s hiring is a rare personnel acquisition for the ride-sharing company, which has been hemorrhaging executives away. Uber in recent months has lost or let go vice president of maps and business platform Brian McClendon, communications senior vice president Rachel Whetstone, vice president of product Ed Baker, president Jeff Jones, senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal and self-driving car head Anthony Levandowski, among others.

Uber announced on Tuesday it terminated more than 20 employees following a company-wide investigation into harassment claims.

Saint John is joining Uber along with Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei, who will be its senior vice president of leadership and strategy. The hires signal part of Uber’s efforts to clean house and its old reputation as a growth-hungry, cutthroat company with little care for workplace diversity.

Financially, Uber is still growing. In the last quarter, Uber reported its revenues increased by 18 percent to $3.4 billion and that it had cut down on its massive deficit to $708 million loss from $900 million the quarter before.

As for Apple, there was a Saint John-sized hole during the WWDC keynote presentation on Monday. Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi took Saint John’s mantle and announced Apple Music has 27 million subscribers. Federighi did not lead a sing-along.

Saint John announced her move to Uber on Twitter with a lyric from singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman.


Photo: Apple Music executive Bozoma Saint John joins Uber as its chief brand officer. (Courtesy Uber)


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