Uber: Head of AV Policy out

Justin Erlich becomes the latest addition to the list of high-profile exits from the ride-hailing company. 

Elrich, a Harvard and NYU trained lawyer joined Uber in 2017. He previously served as a Special Assistant of Technology to the Attorney General of California, after reaching the rank of Engagement Manager at the leading consulting company McKinsey & Company. On top of Uber's AV Policy, Elrich was also spearheading policy for the Uber Elevate - an initiative meant to enable urban-air transportation through electric vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts. 

The former Uber executive will be joining Voyage, a San Francisco based company that specialises in Autonomous Vehicles. According to the company's mission statement, Voyage aims to "super-charge communities with autonomous vehicles." Moreover, their "fleets power essential, everyday services designed to enhance each resident’s quality of life."

In a rare occurrence of Twitter posting, Uber's former executive disclosed his excitement about joining Voyage:

The CEO of Voyage, Oliver Cameron, told TechCrunch that from his very first meeting with Justin Elrich, he knew the company had to find a way to bring Justin to Voyage as he is "one of those rare entrepreneurs who can duck and dive into any world and do a world-class job". Justin Elrich will be joining Voyage as the VP of Strategy, Policy & Legal. 

The lack of any comment by Justin Elrich on his time at Uber raises questions - although his tweet shows his enthusiasm about his new employer, there is no Twitter goodbye to his former company. Although the American ride-hailing company has seen good days under the new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, recent controversies have driven lead executives out. Recently, Chief Product Officer, Jeff Holden departed, following the departures of Chief Legal Officer, Salle Yoo last September. It will be interesting to see if the latest Uber-exits prompt another wave of changes at the ride-hailing company - Dara seems determined to improve the admittedly spoiled reputation the company acquired under former CEO, Travis Kalanick. 

Andrew Kyprianides