Uber confirmed on Tuesday that they will be bringing Bozoma Saint John onto their team in a newly created position, Chief Brand Officer. Saint John will be leaving a position at Apple, where she worked as Head of Consumer Marketing for Apple Music. According to an Uber spokeswoman, Saint John will be creating an emotional connection between customers and the company in her new position.
“Quite frankly, what has happened in the past is nothing that I can control, but I do think there is a real opportunity for the future of Uber and what the vision is going to be,” Saint John told Business Insider. She went on to say,
“Having a real seat at the table to be able to do that is really important at this moment in time.”
She was likely referring to Uber’s current unfavorable situation. In January, more than 200,000 customers deleted their accounts after connections between Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, and the Trump administration became public.
Uber has also had legal problems stemming from not treating drivers as employees and using a program known as “Greybal” to evade government officials. All of these issues have left many customers feeling isolated by the brand despite its initial success.
Once Saint John assumes her position as Chief Brand Officer, she will likely focus on getting rid of the negative connotations in order to create a new culture and reputation. Creating strong brands is a noted skill of Saint John’s after a standout presentation on Apple Music at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference and her work directing marketing efforts at Beats Music before it was acquired by Apple.
In his statement on Tuesday, Travis Kalanick said, “Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love.” He also said, “Her creativity and deep understanding of consumers will allow us to build the same love and appreciation for Uber’s brand as we’ve built for Uber’s service.”
Saint John will begin her work at Uber on Monday, and if her projects at Apple and Beats Music are any indicator of what’s to come, Monday may mark the beginning of a new era for Uber.