Apple Music loses top exec to Uber

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Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John is in charge of hyping Apple Music.
Photo: Apple

This story has been updated to include comments from Bozoma Saint John.

Bozoma Saint John, one of Apple’s most entertaining keynote presenters, is leaving the company to work for Uber as the ride-sharing startup’s chief brand officer.

Her task? Fixing Uber’s tarnished image in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and other recent turmoil

“Quite frankly, what has happened in the past is nothing that I can control, but I do think there is a real opportunity for the future of Uber and what the vision is going to be,” Saint John told Business Insider. “Having a real seat at the table to be able to do that is really important at this moment in time.”

Saint John, head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, has been a fan favorite ever since her WWDC 2016 keynote debut, when she tried to get the crowd to dance along to The Sugarhill Gang song “Rapper’s Delight.” Now she’s joining Uber, where the company reportedly hopes she’ll help “turn the tide on recent issues.”

Rumors of Saint John leaving Apple first surfaced last week ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference. Saint John did not take the stage during Monday’s WWDC 2017 keynote, and there wasn’t much mention of Apple Music, either.

Uber has hired two senior female executives, including Saint John, reports Bloomberg. The hirings were allegedly made to add diversity to the company’s upper ranks and to fill voids left by recent departures.

Uber has struggled recently with its image of creating a work environment that can be hostile to women. The company just fired 20 employees as part of a probe into sexual harassment.

Saint John told Business Insider that Uber’s focus on fast growth and creating a “magical product” means there’s still work to do burnishing the brand’s image.

“This very moment is about changing the image of Uber and crafting what that brand story is,” she said.

Before joining Apple in 2014 as part of the Beats Music acquisition, Saint John worked as PepsiCo’s head of music and entertainment marketing. It’s unclear what her role at Uber will be. More details will reportedly be revealed later by Uber.