Two major executives recently left Uber, adding to a growing list of departures during a tumultuous season for the ride-hailing company. USC students say that the controversy surrounding Uber won't deter them from using the service.
Uber's president of ride sharing Jeff Jones has left the company after just six months. Jones resigned after Travis Kalanick, the company's chief executive, said he would hire a chief operating officer for "leadership help."
In a statement to tech website Recode, Jones said "It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride-sharing business."
Uber also lost Brian McClendon, vice president of maps and business platform, who is leaving the company on friendlier terms to pursue a career in politics.
The company has been surrounded with scandal during the past few months, beginning with the #DeleteUber campaign, which stemmed from backlash surrounding the company's decision to offer rides during a taxicab protest at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport after President Trump's travel ban, and the news that Kalanick was serving as an economic advisor to Trump. Kalanick has since resigned from his advisory role.
The company also recently requested the resignation of Amit Singhal, an engineer who did not disclose a former sexual harassment claim against him at Google, where he worked before joining Uber.
USC student Eli Promisel said that much of this scandal came from media coverage rather than what Uber had actually done.
"I think the scandal is really just the way the media portrays it. The company really hasn't had much publicity besides the one thing where [Kalanick] partnered with the Trump administration. And ever since then, they've been in the spotlight of the media in a negative light," Promisel said. "[Uber] still helps me out at the end of the day so I will continue to use Uber."
USC students have heavily utilized Uber through USC's Safe Rides Program, which began offering free Uber rides to students within designated Campus Cruiser service boundaries around campus in January 2015. The university covers the cost of rides if students travel within the boundaries between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. In one week in September 2015, the combined number of rides for Campus Cruiser and free Uber in a week was 17,488.
USC dentistry student Susan Park said that while the recent scandals are troubling, the USC-Uber partnership is beneficial to students.
"On one hand, I feel that it is a little unfortunate that Uber has so many scandals to deal with. But on the other hand, it is a very efficient mode of transportation for students like myself," she said. "As of now, I don't have any plans to [delete Uber]. But if the company itself continues to get involved with scandals… then I would delete it and switch to Lyft at some point."
Staff Reporter Rose Poole contributed reporting.