Uber scales back plans for Oakland with less jobs

- Uber has decided to pull back from their move to an Oakland expansion it was reported today, meaning much less jobs based in the East Bay.

The old Sears store on Broadway in downtown Oakland has been shrouded by a white construction covering for several months since it was announced in 2015 they’d be expanding with some 2,000-3,000 Uber headquarters employees settling into their new Oakland offices. Those figures have been drastically reduced to 200-300 jobs for the app-based, ride share company.

Uber says they will lease the remainder of the space at the Sears building to other companies.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement on Monday to shed light on the situation.

“This prime office location will be put back into full use and made available to rent for other businesses and non-profits, in addition to the presence that Uber will have there.”

In a report by the San Francisco Business Times, Uber has agreed to take most, if not all, of the twin-office space currently being constructed in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area on Third Street.

The twin office buildings will also straddle the Golden State Warriors arena also being built and will offer Uber half a million square-feet of office space.

Meanwhile, the major construction continues, including first-floor retail at the Sears building on Broadway and 19th and was projected to be finished sometime in 2018.

This is the latest in a string of controversies for Uber. Jeff Jones, president of the embattled company, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company confirmed Sunday.

In a brief statement, Uber didn't say why Jones left. "We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best," it said.

Jones told the tech blog Recode, which first reported his resignation, that his values didn't align with Uber's.

"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," he said in a statement.

Jones is the latest of several high-level executives to leave the San Francisco-based company.

Last month, a top engineering executive, Amit Singhal, left Uber five weeks after his hire was announced. He allegedly failed to disclose that he'd left his previous job at Google because of a sexual harassment allegation.

Ed Baker, Uber's vice president of product and growth, resigned earlier this month. So did Charlie Miller, Uber's top security researcher, who left to join Didi, China's larger ride-hailing company.

Jones' departure comes days after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the company will hire a chief operating officer who can help write its "next chapter."

Jones had left Target, where he was chief marketing officer, to join Uber in September.

Uber has been hit by several controversies, including allegations that it routinely ignores sexual harassment. A recent video showed Kalanick profanely berating a driver who confronted him about steep cuts in Uber's rates.

Uber also acknowledged it has used a program to thwart authorities who have been trying to curtail or shut down its service in cities around the world.

The company also has faces challenges in court.

Waymo, a self-driving car company that used to be part of Google, last month sued Uber in federal court, alleging betrayal and high-tech espionage. The complaint accuses Anthony Levandowski, a former top manager for Google's self-driving car project, of stealing technology now propelling Uber's effort to build an autonomous vehicle fleet.

Uber denied Waymo's claims, calling them "a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor."


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