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Uber names Barney Harford, ex-Orbitz executive as COO

Harford is Uber's first COO and Khosrowshahi's second significant hire after General Counsel Tony West joined in October from PepsiCo.


Barney Harford
Barney Harford (Photo: Reuters)

Technologies Inc on Wednesday named the former of to be its chief operating officer, second-in-command to new Dara Khosrowshahi, who has been revamping the leadership team in hopes of turning around the ride provider and preparing for an IPO.

Barney Harford, who was of service Worldwide Inc, will join on Jan. 2 and will be tasked with overseeing global ride-hailing operations, marketing, customer support and the business. A familiar face at Uber, he been an since October, Khosrowshahi said in an email to employees.

With Khosrowshahi flying to and to address regulatory issues, Harford will have an important role in Uber's day-to-day business. He must also help figure out how to turn a profit at Uber, where the loss widened to $1.46 billion in the third quarter from $1.06 billion the previous quarter.

Harford is Uber's and Khosrowshahi's second significant hire after joined in October from

Khosrowshahi is under pressure to establish a leadership team capable of changing the toxic and rule-flouting corporate culture that developed under and former-

Khosrowshahi, who replaced Kalanick in August, has vowed to usher in a new era at after a string of scandals led to the departure of many executives. These included allegations of sexual harassment, data privacy violations, a lawsuit alleging trade-secrets theft that is headed for trial in February, and criminal probes involving possible bribes paid overseas and a scheme to evade regulators.

Uber's board of directors has agreed to take the company public in 2019 and the company is searching for a who can help take the company public.

The position has been vacant since 2015.

also needs a and has vacancies for a number of managers for regional operations. Five key members of its security team also recently departed.

Harford, who sits on the board of company United Continental Holdings Inc, was a one-time competitor to Khosrowshahi. Harford ran from 2009 to 2015, according to his profile, while Khosrowshahi was of company In February 2015, Expedia announced it would acquire for $1.3 billion in cash, part of a spate of acquisitions under Khosrowshahi.

Harford also worked for Expedia, and briefly under Khosrowshahi, running the company's division, according to

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Harford said he looked forward to helping broaden in cities and said "clearly wants to turn a corner."

In March, the company announced its plan to hire its Then, Kalanick was still and under fire for his leadership abilities. The search was delayed while the board searched for a replacement for Kalanick.

First Published: Thu, December 21 2017. 10:14 IST