Frances Frei, who joined Uber last June as the company’s first-ever SVP of leadership and strategy, is leaving the company, Recode first reported. Frei’s plan is to remain as an advisor at Uber while moving on to create a new leadership development program for people of color and women at other companies.
“Frances has made an incredible contribution to Uber at a critical time in our company’s history, from building and running a first-of-its-kind leadership and education program to helping our new leaders be set up for success,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We are delighted that Frances will continue to serve as an advisor to Uber and teach the Harvard Executive Education program she designed.”
A lot has happened during her time at Uber, including the firing of 20 people following the sexual harassment probe and Travis Kalanick resigning after receiving pressure from a handful of investors to do so. Then, of course, Uber brought on now-former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to serve as its new CEO. If you want a full recap of Uber’s 2017, check out TC’s timeline of events here.
When I met with Frei in August, just a couple of months after she started at Uber, she had already conducted management and feedback sessions with 9,000 employees, 3,000 of which were managers. Frei kicked off her pitch to me by saying that the point of feedback is improvement. If the person giving feedback isn’t invested in seeing an employee improve, then that person should not give feedback.
“There is no exception to that rule,” she said at the time. “So the entirety of feedback is improvement. It’s an irresponsible act for me to give feedback to someone if I’m not trying to have them improve.”
Moving forward, Frei intends to continue to help make better managers and executives out of people, at Uber and in the business world at large. She’ll also eventually return to teach full-time at Harvard.
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