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Former Orbitz CEO joins Uber as chief operating officer, ending long executive search

  • Barney Harford, former CEO of Orbitz, will join the company Jan. 2, Uber said.
  • One recommendation made by Uber's workplace culture investigation was to delegate some CEO duties to a chief operating officer.

After a long search, Uber has finally named a chief operating officer.

Barney Harford, former CEO of Orbitz, will join the company Jan. 2, Uber said on Wednesday. Harford has deep ties with Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who was previously the chief executive of Expedia. Harford has been an advisor to Uber since October, according to Uber, and is on the board of United Airlines and RealSelf.

"I have never met a stronger operator or a more thoughtful strategist than Barney," Khosrowshahi said in a blog post. "He is able to go deep on key aspects of a business while never losing sight of the big strategic picture. He loves engaging with operations, marketing, product, and engineering teams around hard problems, and is passionate about using technology to transform the world."

Harford joins Uber as the company gains its footing after a tough year. Co-founder Travis Kalanick stepped down as CEO of the loss-making ride-hailing company after a workplace culture investigation found more than 200 claims of misconduct.

One recommendation made by Uber's workplace culture investigation was to delegate some CEO duties to a chief operating officer.

Harford's appointment was praised by Uber investor Bill Gurley, who had been one of the central figures tasked with reforming the company.