Ellen Pao stepped down from her job as Reddit's CEO just months after she was appointed. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hello, goodbye: When execs make a quick exit

Jana Kasperkevic Mar 20, 2017
Ellen Pao stepped down from her job as Reddit's CEO just months after she was appointed. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Sunday, Uber confirmed that its president Jeff Jones resigned just six months after taking the job. Jones said he decided to leave because his values no longer aligned with those of Uber.

“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 one of several executives who have recently left the embattled ride-hailing company. Recently, Uber has been dealing with a series of controversies, including a #deleteuber boycott, rampant sexism accusations and its CEO Travis Kalanick being caught on camera arguing with one of its drivers.

However, Uber is not the only company that has had a high-level executive leave within months of being hired or promoted. Here is a look at some other executives who have made their exit just less than a year after coming on board:


In November 2014, Reddit became one of the few high-profile tech companies to have a female CEO when it appointed Ellen Pao to the role. Pao was promoted to the interim CEO role after Yishan Wong resigned from the position. Not even a year later, in July 2015, Pao left the job; she had become a target of user backlash after firing Victoria Taylor, a well-liked manager of Ask Me Anything subreddit.

Days after Pao’s announcement, Reddit’s chief engineer, Bethanye Blount, also announced that she was leaving. Her tenure at Reddit was just two months long. Blount said that her decision had less to do with gender and more to do with the “aggressive implied promises” made to the user communities that she did not think she could deliver.


Twitter is still dealing with growing pains, such as attracting new users and curbing abuse. The company has also been plagued by some high-profile departures. Among executives who have left the company just months after joining it were Kathy Chen and Natalie Kerris.

Chen left Twitter just eight months after being appointed the managing director of its operations in greater China. Kerris left about six months after coming over from Apple to serve as the vice president of communications.

Jay-Z’s Tidal had three CEOs in eight months.


In March 2015, Jay-Z launched his own music-streaming service called Tidal. About two weeks later, he fired Andy Chen, the CEO that who had run the company, formerly known as Aspiro. Chen’s replacement, Peter Tonstad, left the company just two months later.

In December 2015, Tidal got its third CEO in eight months when it was announced that Jeff Toig would take on the job come January.


2012 was quite a year for Yahoo. Just four months after he came on board, CEO Scott Thompson tendered his resignation after it was revealed that he had padded his resume with a computer science degree that he did not earn.

Thompson’s departure was the one that ultimately brought Marissa Mayer to Yahoo. Thompson left mid-May, with Ross Levinsohn taking over as interim CEO. Not even two months later, Marissa Mayer, who had never before run a company, took over as permanent CEO.

At the beginning of this year, it was announced that Mayer would leave Yahoo’s board after its sale to Verizon was completed.


These departures are not just a Silicon Valley occurrence. In January of this year, Volkswagen announced that its head of compliance, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, was leaving the company “due to differences in the understanding of responsibilities and future operating structures within the function she leads.” The announcement came just a year after Hohmann-Dennhardt was brought on in the aftermath of its emissions-cheating scandal, the Financial Times reported.


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