Will Uber's New Female Execs Fix The Company's Culture?

Photo: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock.
Within the last week, Uber announced three high-profile women are joining its executive ranks. The timing of these hires coincides with the much-anticipated release of the findings from an investigation into the company's culture conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Uber's board reportedly met this weekend to discuss Holder's recommendations.
While much of the news surrounding Uber has been negative in recent months, these hires are a bright spot. Each woman is a highly regarded change-maker with extensive leadership experience, and it shows the company is making an effort to change. It's exciting, but also worrisome. Will these women face the same glass cliff that other female tech execs have struggled against?
Ahead, take a quick look at the new guard of women tasked with the challenging task of reshaping Uber's image and workplace.
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Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer

Chief Brand Officer is a new role at Uber, and it’s hard to think someone better suited for the position than Saint John, whose very apt social handle is @badassboz. Her strong following on Twitter (25.5K) and Instagram (37.2K) alone should tell you something of her influence.

Early in her career, Saint John made a name for herself at PepsiCo, where she headed up music and entertainment marketing, forging deals with the likes of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.

Prior to joining Uber, the Wesleyan alum was the head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes. You might remember Saint John from Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, when she made waves with her energizing appearance during the keynote. (Watch her rock out onstage here.)

Saint John's presence is electric, and her confidence invigorating. “There's nothing more badass than being who you are...I am a force of nature in fierce stilettos,” she writes in her Twitter profile. If there's one person who has the potential to rebrand a company in a positive way, it's her.
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Photo: Courtesy of Uber.
Frances Frei, SVP Leadership & Strategy

Frei has a history of helping embattled companies. According to her Harvard Business School profile, the professor "serves as a personal advisor to senior executives embarking on cultural change and organizational transformations."

In a press release announcing Frei's appointment, Uber says that she will work hand-in-hand with Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey (who just joined from Google in late 2016), to help with company management and leadership, among other workplace transitions.
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Photo: Michele Limina/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Wan Ling Martello, Board Member

Martello joined Uber's board as an independent director. She boasts impressive leadership experience at a number of Fortune 500 companies. After serving in multiple high-level strategy and finance roles at Walmart from 2005 to 2011, she went to Nestlé, where she is currently an executive vice president heading up the company's operations in the Asia, Oceania, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Martello is one of two women on Uber's board. The second, Arianna Huffington, has been instrumental in leading an investigation into Uber's corporate culture issues.

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