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Leader of Uber’s flying car effort has stepped down

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.

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.”

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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.

Post the departure of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick following a series of scandals, seven of the 14 executives who were running the interim leadership team have left, including Holden.

— 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.

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