Uber Hires Google Executives As VP Of Global Marketing
Weeks after laying off a third of its marketing division, Uber has recruited a longtime Google executive to help lead the reorganization.
The ride-hailing company said today that it has hired Thomas Ranese to lead global product and business marketing. Ranese—who will join Uber next month to oversee brand, creative, research and regional marketing—spent nearly a decade at Google, most recently leading marketing for the Google Pixel and the rebrand of Google Nest.
Prior to joining Google, Ranese spent two years as the first chief marketing officer for the state of New York, which included revitalizing the “I Love NY” campaign. He will report to Jill Hazelbaker—Uber’s svp of marketing and public affairs—and will work alongside Mike Strickman, who joined Uber in July as vp of performance marketing and growth.
“Uber is one of the rare companies that’s become a verb—and an iconic brand that’s redefining how we move, eat, work and more in cities around the world,” Ranese said in a statement. “As Dara has said, marketing is more important to Uber than ever, and I’m excited to work with teams around the world to strengthen our marketing capabilities, drive growth, and help transform the Uber brand.”
The timing of Ranese’s hiring comes soon after a massive shake-up of Uber’s marketing department. Late last month, it laid off around 400 of its 1,200 marketers, prompting a former member of the team to create a spreadsheet to help them find new jobs.
Uber’s marketing expenses have increased significantly in the past year. According to the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings, sales and marketing expenses totaled $1.22 million in the second quarter of 2019, up from $715,000 during the same period of 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, the company spent $1.04 million on sales and marketing—up from $677,000 in first-quarter 2018.
The company has lost a number of top marketers since the middle of last year. In June of 2018, chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John left to become chief marketing officer of Endeavor Global Marketing. A year later, Uber pushed out its first CMO, Rebecca Messina, who left after spending less than a year in the role. In a letter to employees in June, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said it was a “good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future.”