Jeff Holden’s untimely departure is raising eyebrows, and questions. Holden was the lead on the flying car effort and just recently Uber had their second annual flying car summit.
Here is Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden's goodbye letter to the company pic.twitter.com/h4oLFhhJEU
— Eric Newcomer (@EricNewcomer) May 18, 2018
Onstage, Holden brought up important regulatory issues that Uber would face to get these cars off the ground. In his goodbye letter he called the summit “absolutely amazing” and noted that the company was hard at work towards making demonstrator flights a reality in 2020 and commercial flights in 2023.
Holden’s other reason why it’s “hard to move on” is because he said he’s “leav[ing] behind a legacy [he’s] very proud of.” He spoke of the company when he first got there — a mobile engineering team with six people and a rider app that “didn’t let you say where you were going” — and it’s quite clear how much Uber has changed since those days.
As to why he’s leaving, Holden says it’s not about family “I don’t believe choosing between work and family; they’re both first class citizens in my life” and he doesn’t say much else other than: “I have an opportunity to pursue a new and epic adventure that I just can’t ignore. I can’t say much about it yet, but stay tuned.”
In his note, he writes “and those who know me well, this will not be surprising” and this seems to ring true to a few people.
Not a surprise to many insiders. One of last ones from ousted Kalanick regime. May 18, 2018
— Biz Carson (@bizcarson) May 17, 2018
Recode reported that, despite Holden’s sudden departure, there’s already someone else who has been prepping for the moment where it comes time for him to lead Elevate: former CEO of Zee Aero, a flying car company, Eric Allison.