Uber loses public relations chief

Uber loses public relations chief
© Greg Nash

Uber’s top public relations executive is stepping down, the latest official to leave the ride-hailing company amid a string of controversies.

“I wanted to let you know that Rachel Whetstone, who heads up policy and communications globally, has decided to leave Uber,” Travis Kalanick, the company’s CEO, wrote in an internal email obtained by Recode.

“Since joining in 2015, Rachel has blown us all away with her ability to get stuff done. She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an amazing player-coach who has built a first-class organization.”

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Uber has been plagued by a series of controversies this year.

The company has been battling accusations of sexism since Susan Fowler, a former engineer at the company, wrote about what workplace culture is like for female employees in a widely read blog post in February.

The post, which claimed that the company was indifferent to her claims of sexual harassment, led to Uber hiring former Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderFBI director defends agency after Trump attacks: It's an 'honor to represent you' FBI agents fire back at Trump: Saying we're not dedicated is 'simply false' Holder hits back at Trump: The FBI’s reputation is not in 'tatters' MORE to lead an investigation into the accusations.

Uber president Jeff Jones also stepped down from the company last month, saying that the company's leadership was "inconsistent" with his values.

“I am incredibly proud of the team that we’ve built — and that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place,” Whetstone said in a statement to The Hill. “I joined Uber because I love the product — and that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my very first ride six years ago.”

Whetstone's deputy, Jill Hazelbaker, will take over as the head of public policy and communications. Like Whetstone, Hazelbaker is a veteran of Google's communications department. She also worked on Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.