By Thomas L Blair 22 September 2017 copyright
Bozoma “Boz” Saint John, Uber’s formidable Chief Brand Officer, has a big task in front of her. She will have to marshal all her crisis management skills as London revokes the ride-hailing company’s license to operate.
After being besieged by scandals and the latest ban, the $68 billion firm’s brand ambassador’s job is to humanize the company. This means challenging the decree that Uber is not a ‘fit and proper’ operator over safety record and crime reporting.
“All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect — particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,” said Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor.
The blow comes at a sensitive time for Saint John. New to the job since June, she is tasked with cleaning up Uber’s reputation with “humanizing” practices. This means, she said, telling the behind-the-scenes stories of drivers and passengers.
Saint John believes this will resonate with customers. “Sometimes it’s not about the bits and atoms,” she said, “but about the holistic human heart.”
The Uber exec acknowledges the difficult times ahead for the company’s image. “There certainly is a lot to do,” Saint John said speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
Saint John joined Uber at its chief brand ambassador from Apple, where she was the head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes. The 40-year-old Ghanaian, is one of few hi-tech Black women campaigners for workforce diversity.
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