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Uber's PR head resigns amid tumultuous time for company

Uber's Travis Kalanick loses another exec as comms chief Rachel Whetsone quits

"I am incredibly proud of the team that we've built", Whetstone said in a written statement while making herself unavailable for comment.

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Uber said Whetstone, the company's head of communications, has made a decision to leave the ride-hailing company.

Uber has been plagued by a series of controversies this year.

Whetstone's departure might sting - it means the company's PR head is leaving at a time when Uber is in dire need of some good press. "She is a force of nature, an extraordinary talent and an incredible player-coach who has built a first-class organisation".

In 2015, Whetstone left Google to become the ride-hailing app's senior vice president of policy and communications.

And then there were the resignations: Amit Singhal, who had been Uber's head of engineering, left after it emerged he failed to disclose a sexual harassment allegation at his former employer, Google.

Uber's top executive for communications has left the beleaguered company, continuing a wave of turnover in the highest ranks. She says that love has not waned even today; it's as strong as the first day she hailed her first Uber ride.

Before joining Uber, Whetstone spent 10 years at Google doing a similar job.

Uber confirmed that Jill Hazelbaker will take over as head of comms.

The backlash against Uber, both internally and externally, was so strong and pervasive that Kalanick told his staff that he was hiring a chief operating officer to assist him with leadership responsibilities.

Recode reports that Whetstone's reasons for leaving Uber are multi-faceted. Hazelbaker also has ties to political work, having been a political operative of Senator John McCain on his presidential campaign.

"Whetstone is a former political operative in the United Kingdom and helped Google manage antitrust battles with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union during a decade-long stint at the search giant", Georgia Wells reports for the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Kalanick was in February filmed in a vehicle berating an Uber driver after he complained about low fares. Uber has also hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to lead an investigation into the sexism allegations. Uber President Jeff Jones quit in March after only working there for roughly six months.