By Ellen McGirt
March 21, 2017

A lot of important jobs seem to be opening up at Uber these days. If you’re a turn-around expert with a strong stomach, a weapons grade bullshit detector and a vision for radical inclusivity, I say polish up your LinkedIn and give it a go.

The latest in a string of unplanned departures is president Jeff Jones, who lasted about seven months before he gave up. He gave Recode the scoop in a statement:

Jones also confirmed the departure with a blistering assessment of the company. “It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride-sharing business,” he said.

A source also told Recode that the former Target CMO doesn’t like conflict, which would put him at a disadvantage from the start. Jones began his tenure by meeting with Uber drivers, though one public session went south after drivers began flooding his Facebook page with angry commentary. From the same story: “The situation at the company has deteriorated since then, obviously, after a blog post by a former female engineer chronicled a deeply dysfunctional management led by Kalanick that favored what board member Arianna Huffington called “brilliant jerks.

Of course, there are many brilliant non-jerks who work at Uber, people with extraordinary leadership skills who could probably put together a pretty good short list of similarly qualified people to help navigate the rocky shoals ahead. There’s science to this strategy, too. Everett Harper, the CEO and co-founder of Truss, has written an exceptional manifesto on how to diversify your company by tapping the “weak tie” networks of your employees.

In that spirit, I’d ask Salle Yoo, Uber’s general counsel, to weigh in.

As a younger lawyer, she’d been rocked by a 2008 American Bar Association study that revealed that no minority women at the largest 200 law firms in the U.S. made partner over a ten-year period. “That was meaningful to me because that meant that minority women were not making it into partnership,” she told Fortune in a short, inspiring video. She set her sights on achieving that goal, not just for herself but “so I could teach other women how to crack that puzzle.” That’s the kind of bias toward inclusion that Uber could learn from. Also, she’s smart, fearless and knows how to take risks.

But right now, the greatest risk of all seems to be allowing the jerks to stay in the driver’s seat. Let me know if you get an interview.


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