Uber poaches Target CMO to overhaul marketing operations

Jeff Jones will become Uber's president of ridesharing, replacing longtime Uber employee and board member Ryan Graves.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor
Uber driverless car

Target's marketing chief Jeff Jones is leaving the cheap-chic retail chain and heading to Uber. In a blog post, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Jones is coming on board as Uber's president of ridesharing, replacing longtime Uber employee and board member Ryan Graves.

Kalanick said Jones will head up Uber's people operations, marketing, and customer support efforts. He also provided a few more specifics on how he wants to see Jones revamp Uber's marketing strategy.

"Over the last six months, Ryan and I have become increasingly convinced that our rapidly growing marketing efforts needed to be far more integrated with our city operations," Kalanick wrote. "Marketing is about storytelling, about attracting, engaging and retaining customers. Of course, a majority of our city operations are focused on exactly that, but those efforts have been isolated from many of our marketing functions. Our vision is simple: to redefine how a large operations effort can be tightly integrated with a customer-obsessed marketing strategy."

At Target, Jones is credited with modernizing the retailer's marketing efforts and spearheading its investments in digital marketing and attracting millennial shoppers. Kalanick is hoping Jones can do the same thing for Uber, because up until now, the company's marketing efforts have been very basic, with the bulk of communications happening via emails, texts, and promotional discounts.

The executive shakeup comes just a day after it was reported that Uber was ousting Alphabet executive David Drummond from its board due to growing competition between the two companies.

For Target, Jones' departure comes just before the start of the holiday shopping season, which is a crucial period for revenue generation. In a statement, Target CEO Brian Cornell insisted that the retailer was "well positioned" headed into the season, but investors are already skeptical. Target's shares dropped nearly two percent since Jone's resignation was announced.

SEE ALSO: Uber suffers $1.2 billion half year loss: Report | Uber's self-driving car to hit the streets of Pittsburgh | Uber acquires Otto, enters trucking and may find better business model | Uber to launch self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh

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