Uber Fills Vacant CTO Role With Former Amazon Exec

George Paul · September 22, 2020
Uber self-driving car's undergoing maintenance
Image Credit: Uber

Uber has hired Sukumar Rathnam as its new Chief Technology Officer, according to an internal announcement confirmed by The Information. He will step into his new role on September 28.

The news of Rathnam’s hire coincides with news that the company’s CIO, Shobhana Ahluwalia, has decided to leave the company after over 5 years. Sources cited by Forbes described the departure as “very amicable.”

Before joining Uber, Rathnam previously served as a Vice President at Amazon, where he headed product selection and catalog systems. At Amazon, he also oversaw more than 2,000 employees, which is a similar size as Uber’s engineering department. He also has held leadership roles at Microsoft and PeopleSoft, which is now owned by Oracle.

Uber org chart

The arrival of a new head of tech will allow CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to relinquish some of the duties he took on as interim CTO following the departure of CTO Thuan Pham in late April. Among these duties will be to make headway on the company’s self-driving car project. Two of Uber’s largest shareholders, SoftBank Group and Benchmark, have reportedly privately encouraged Khosrowshahi to find more investors for the project, which deplete its funding by the end of 2021, and re-evaluate its strategy.

In an internal message about the hire, Khosrowshahi told employees that he had gotten to know Rathnam well over a number of months and said that he would be a great asset to the company and to its engineering teams.

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