Ridesharing giant Uber took another hit with the departure of its president, Jeff Jones, after just six months, U.S. media reported Sunday.
But Jones' statement to Recode that he is leaving the company because his approach to leadership is "inconsistent" with what was seen at Uber is raising serious questions - especially ahead of its much anticipated initial public offering.
And in February, the company was hit with sexual harassment claims from a former engineer.
Bloomberg says that in the first nine months of a year ago, Uber lost $2.2 billion on sales of $3.8 billion, and it suggests that projected losses of $3 billion in 2017 may actually be conservative.
Uber CEO Kalanick then held a teary all-hands meeting at which he apologized for leading the company he co-founded to a point of such negativity and discord.
Sources tell Recode that Jones simply doesn't like conflict, and that was apparently brewing at the ride-hailing company.
Privately, however, the company has been shocked by his sudden departure, with other executives left disappointed at what they saw as a lack of professional courtesy in informing them of his plans.
Recode first reported the departures and they were later confirmed by a spokeswoman.
The startup started looking for a chief operating officer this month to work as the new No. 2 to Kalanick, who admitted he needed help leading the company after a series of crises.
"Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn't see his future at Uber", Kalanick wrote.
The reaction was similar at a popular subreddit dedicated to Uber drivers. The company deliberately turned off surge pricing during a taxi strike at at major airports around the country.
Jones has had to contend with a string of scandals at Uber including sexual harassment accusations, the use of a programme to evade law enforcement efforts, a lawsuit alleging theft of intellectual property from Google's autonomous auto unit, Waymo, and the testing of self-driving cars without a permit. McClendon will likely quit the company by the end of March. Earlier this month, Ed Baker, Uber's vice-president of product and growth, and Charlie Miller, Uber's famed security researcher, departed.
What we do know is that it has seemingly come as a hammer blow to Uber which simply wasn't expecting it. Therefore, McClendon's departure is problematic as it is strategically important for Uber to strengthen their geolocation and mapping services.