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BOZ UBERS
TO NEW GIG

Bozoma Saint John, who made a surprise move a week ago when she resigned from her high-profile marketing job at Apple, is headed to embattled Uber as its first Chief Brand Officer. That is not a typo. This talented exec, who was poised to become a star at Apple, apparently enjoys a challenge.

 “The beauty of a new role is sort of [my ability to] define it,” Saint John told Recode, which broke the story. “My background is in marketing. That’s what I’m going to be focused on mostly. [But] I reserve the right to change it a little bit. The business is going to continue to grow and change, and perhaps the needs for marketing and branding will change in six months.”

Uber is in dire need of a perception makeover—the company just fired 20 people as a result of an investigation into individual claims of sexual harassment among other issues.

“I know what I’m walking into,” St. John acknowledged to Recode’s Johana Bhuiyan. “I think it’s a really exciting time to tell the story well. Certainly, there have been lots of things that have been swirling around [about] Uber, but I’m interested in telling the story about the service and what is happening from the brand standpoint. I have to focus on what I have to focus on. There’s not a lot I can do about what’s already happened at Uber.”

Her first responsibility, she said, is “to change the perception of the brand. That is what I’m going to be focused on doing, because I know there are good stories and real stories and things that are happening that should be told that folks just don’t know.”

Saint John sees herself as a storyteller, which is just what Uber needs at this “critical stage,” as she puts it. “The growth is so expansive that the story hasn’t been told the way it really should be. I’m a change agent. I enjoy telling stories of brands at moments in time that [they] are going to change culture, and I firmly believe that Uber is going to do that.”

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