Bozoma Saint John leaves Uber after less than a year, named CMO of Endeavor

The Uber alum joins the global entertainment agency

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Bozoma Saint John.
Bozoma Saint John. Credit: T.J. Martell Foundation/PR Newswire

Bozoma Saint John, most recently the chief brand officer of Uber, has been named CMO of the entertainment conglomerate Endeavor. She joins the company to focus on driving marketing efforts on behalf of Endeavor, including Endeavor Global Marketing clients and premium brands, according to an email from an Endeavor spokesman.

Saint John will also work across Endeavor's growing global network of companies including: WME, IMG, UFC, PBR, Miss Universe and Frieze.

"Boz's strong creative vision has the power to create cultural moments that are transformative for brands," said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel in a press release. "We're excited for what it means when her vision comes face-to-face with our client roster and portfolio of brands who are shaping the cultural conversation around the world every day."

Saint John joined Uber almost a year ago at a time when the company was suffering from a string of embarrassing setbacks, a work environment that was characterized as hostile towards women and a CEO, Travis Kalanick, with a bad boy image.

Her first marketing efforts for the company had more to do with connecting Uber to popular culture than with rehabilitating its image. "There are big cultural issues that need to be addressed, and those are being addressed. But there also has to be the pop-culture angle: How are we firmly in pop culture now?" she said in an interview with Ad Age at the time. The New York Times ran a profile at the time with the breathless headline "Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?"

Her pop cultural bent made sense, even if it felt slightly out of step with the ride hailing service's needs at the time: Prior to her time at Uber, she represented PepsiCo, where in 2013 she orchestrated the halftime show Pepsi sponsored at the Super Bowl featuring Beyoncé.

She left Pepsi for Beats Music and then Apple, where she made a splash at its massive developers conference, WWDC, in 2016. She has been broadly recognized for her work in the advertising industry, being named one of Ad Age's 50 Most Creative People and Fortune's Disruptors and 40 under 40, among other honors.

Last month Uber began airing ads with its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, which more explicitly (if still elliptically) addressed the company's past problems. Those ads were just the beginning of a $500 million ad campaign the company will run in 2018, The Information reported today.

"I am to write Uber's next chapter with you," Khosrowshahi says in one spot. "This begins with new leadership and a new culture." And it begins, apparently, without Saint John.

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