Apple Music Marketing Exec Bozoma Saint John Reportedly Leaving Apple for Uber [Updated]

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Last week, news came out that Bozoma Saint John -- Apple Music and iTunes head of Global Consumer Marketing -- was planning to leave Apple, without any indication given as to why Saint John was leaving Apple or where she planned on working next. TechCrunch is today reporting that the former Apple executive is now looking to head to Uber, although her specific role at the ride-hailing company is unclear.

Given Saint John's background in marketing, a similar position is predicted for her at Uber. According to sources, Uber is looking at Saint John's hiring as a way to "turn the tide on recent issues," suggesting that she might be coming in to help shift the negative spotlight placed on Uber in recent months.

We received the news via a tip, and have confirmed the appointment through multiple sources at Uber. The company, we understand, views the appointment as important in helping "turn the tide on recent issues."

As for what role she will be taking, that's something we're still trying to figure out. We understand that Uber will be making more details public later. Saint John's track record is in marketing -- most recently at Apple but also with a long stint at Pepsi, among other places.
Over the past few months public opinion regarding Uber and its company culture has been largely negative online. The backlash against Uber reached new heights in January, when users began a #DeleteUber hashtag on Twitter in response to Uber's decision to keep up and running throughout the strike at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where protesters fought against President Trump's executive order banning immigrants from specific countries entering the U.S.

In addition, Uber's background GPS tracking tactics caused worry by users online last year, the FTC filed a complaint against the company for posting inflated yearly wages on various job-seeking websites, Waymo sued Uber for intellectual property theft, and it came out that Apple CEO Tim Cook was on the verge of removing Uber from the iOS App Store after Apple discovered that Uber was secretly "fingerprinting" iPhones that used the app.

If she officially joins Uber, Saint John would be one of the newest hires following a collection of departures from the company over the past six months. These include: Brian McClendon (VP of maps and business platform), Jeff Jones (president), Gary Marcus (AI lead), Rachel Whetstone (SVP of communications), Sherif Marakby (VP of global vehicle programs), Ed Baker (VP of product), Amit Singhal (SVP of engineering), and self-driving car head Anthony Levandowski, who was tied to the Waymo lawsuit.

Update: Saint John has confirmed that her role at Uber will be "Chief Brand Officer," telling Recode, "I know what I'm walking into," in reference to the company's current turmoil.
"The beauty of a new role is sort of [my ability to] define it," Saint John told Recode in an interview. "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."

"I know what I'm walking into," she said. "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," she continued. "There's not a lot I can do about what's already happened at Uber."
Saint John said her first responsibility is to "change the perception of the brand," and that she believes "there are good stories and real stories and things that are happening that should be told that folks just don't know."

Article Link: Apple Music Marketing Exec Bozoma Saint John Reportedly Leaving Apple for Uber [Updated]
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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Will Uber even be around one year from now?
I don't expect things to go so poorly for Uber that they're gone in a year... I give them 2-3 years.

Even so, I'm sure she'll get some kind of signing bonus and maybe a golden parachute if Uber does crash and burn.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Uber?o_O That's tantamount to leaving an aircraft carrier to board the Titanic. I'm sure she's getting a boatload of cash (hopefully she was smart enough to get more cash than stock options) to go there, but Uber is a literal sinking ship. If she does repair that company's reputation she will have earned every.single.penny. Good luck with that.
 

nt5672

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
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Whats the shock? This is a real Captain Obvious play for Uber.
Yep, another token job for her. I hope she is not too smart for this one. How do we know its only a token job? The problems at Uber are not marketing, they are company DNA. No matter how much lipstick gets slapped on, the problems will still exit.
 
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mcfrazieriv

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Jan 30, 2012
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Uber began as something really classy. Now it's literally a yellow cab service with different levels of cars. The UberX is got to be the scariest of the bunch in terms of safety here in Los Angeles. You really don't realize how BAD people are at driving until you're stuck inside a Prius with one of these turds and you get t-boned in an intersection because they didn't look both ways before crossing a major street. Yeah, they have PR issues because of the guy stealing technology - but damn, they lost a lot of class over the years that is definitely MORE THAN PERCEPTION. I hope that when this company trades drivers for a fleet of super high tech cars that everything returns to normal. Don't know how they'll clean the puke out of the backseat when there's no driver to monitor puke-status.
 

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
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Uber? eesh. Well I do recall her Apple Music presentation, it was pretty bad all around, not solely on her but the whole presentation was forced and not great
 

Digital Skunk

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Dec 23, 2006
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In my imagination
I dont know much about her. Did she do a good job at Apple?
She probably didn't have much of a job to do. It's not like Apple has a bad rep to fix. She was no doubt bored.
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If she's even a little bit responsible for the train-wreck music is on iOS devices, then no.
She was part of marketing, not content.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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As much as I hate Uber, Saint John brings diversity in to the mix, which could be a huge win for the company provided she gets a major promotion in title.
 
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Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
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Career wise this seems like a big downgrade. Working for Apple at the level she was is incredibly prestigious due to their wide ranging success and accomplishments whilst Uber is just full of controversy.

They must have offered her a lot of money.
 

mkeeley

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Sep 18, 2007
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She's getting more money. It's okay if you'd stick to a low paying job and pass up more money, but most people want to take on challenges and move up the chain. Apple is notorious for not giving much wiggle room in higher level positions.
It's not really an upward move in anything other than perhaps money though.