Uber just hired a Coca-Cola veteran as its first chief marketing officer

Uber has hired Rebecca Messina as its first chief marketing officer (CMO). She joins from drinks company Beam Suntory, where she had been global CMO since 2016.

Prior to that, Messina spent almost 22 years at Coca-Cola, lastly as a senior vice-president in its ventures and emerging brands team.

Messina will be tasked with bringing Uber's global marketing teams together, the company said in an online statement. "My focus has always been on three things: people, growth and brands. Uber checks all three boxes: a rapidly growing global business, with the opportunity to build an iconic brand alongside a team that's committed to transforming the future of mobility," Messina said in the statement Monday.

Barney Harford, Uber's chief operating officer, added: "We're excited to learn from her as we work to make Uber one of the world's most valuable brands, supported by cutting-edge marketing systems."

Uber hasn't had a CMO before, but it did have a high-profile chief brand officer, Bozoma Saint John, hired to help the company's turnaround strategy after former CEO Travis Kalanick left amid a sea of controversy. Saint John spent a year at Uber, leaving in June for marketing business Endeavor.

Uber started running a multi-million dollar ad campaign in May, featuring new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who promised a new leadership team and better service for customers and drivers.

Last month, the company hired Nelson J Chai as its new chief financial officer, ahead of its planned initial public offering, likely to be in 2019.