SAN FRANCISCO — A month after Uber’s rocky initial public offering, its chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is taking tighter control over the company.

Mr. Khosrowshahi pushed out two members of his executive team: Barney Harford, the company’s chief operating officer, and Rebecca Messina, the chief marketing officer, the company told employees on Friday.

Since Mr. Khosrowshahi was appointed chief executive more than two years ago, he has spent much of his time on a global apology tour to clean up the company’s image and install more professional management at the fast-growing, ride-hailing company.

After a series of scandals in 2017 that led to the ouster of its former chief executive, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s reputation had become badly tarnished. Mr. Khosrowshahi tried to turn that around by promising to work more closely with regulators and to improve management of the company.

Hiring a chief operating officer — something Uber’s critics and its own board said the company desperately needed — was considered a key part of that repair process.

Now, pushing out Mr. Harford and Ms. Messina is another potential setback in Mr. Khosrowshahi’s effort to clean up Uber’s reputation and its financial performance.

“There’s never really a right time to announce departures or changes like this, but with the I.P.O. behind us, I felt this was a good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future,” Mr. Khosrowshahi wrote in an internal email announcing the executive departures.

Mr. Harford and Ms. Messina could not be immediately reached for comment Friday evening. But Mr. Harford thanked Mr. Khosrowshahi on Twitter, saying, “It has been an honor.”

As Uber prepared to go public earlier this year, it became clear that Wall Street was leery of Uber’s steep losses and its lack of a clear path to profitability. In early May, Uber’s I.P.O. performed well below expectations. The price of an Uber share fell below the offering price, $45 a share, on the first day of trading and continued to drop, before climbing out of the hole earlier this week. Uber’s share price was $44.16 at the end of trading Friday. It was down about 1 percent in after-hours trading. Mr. Khosrowshahi appointed Mr. Harford, who had been the chief executive at the travel site Orbitz, as chief operating officer of Uber in December 2017. Mr. Harford quickly ran into problems. Employees complained he frequently made insensitive comments around race and gender during company meetings, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the matter publicly. Last year, The New York Times reported Mr. Harford was subject to an internal investigation over what some perceived were insensitive comments around race and gender. The inquiry was ended internally and Mr. Harford pledged to undergo sensitivity training. Mr. Khosrowshahi pledged to keep Mr. Harford on at the company afterward. The departure will mean more direct responsibility for Mr. Khosrowshahi over the company’s daily operations. “I now have the ability to be even more involved in the day-to-day operations of our biggest businesses, the core platform of Rides and Eats, and have decided they should report directly to me,” Mr. Khosrowshahi wrote. Mr. Khosrowshahi also announced plans to consolidate Uber’s marketing and policy teams, removing Ms. Messina and promoting Jill Hazelbaker, Uber’s senior vice president of policy and communications, to take over the new group. “Our brand continues to be challenged,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said in his email to employees.


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