Uber loses another executive: The VP of bikes and scooters

Rachel Holt, a longtime veteran of the ride-hailing company, is stepping down to start a venture capital firm.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
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Rachel Holt, Uber's vice president of new mobility, talks about integrating bikes and scooters into the app during a company launch event in September 2019. 

Philip Pacheco/Getty Images

Another of Uber's longtime executives is leaving the company. Rachel Holt, who'd been with Uber for nearly nine years, said Tuesday that she's moving on to launch a venture capital firm. Her most recent position at Uber was vice president of the division that oversees bikes, scooters and public transit partnerships.

"Making a change like this is never easy. Uber has been my home for a long time and an incredibly formative experience for me," Holt tweeted on Tuesday. "I'll always remember where I was the first moment it dawned on me we might really be onto something big, when I overheard strangers talking about Uber, showing each other this cool new app they had found."

When Holt joined Uber in 2011, she came on as a general manager to launch the ride-hailing service in Washington, DC, which was the sixth city for the company. She went on to become general manager of the East Coast and then all of the US and Canada. In July 2018, she was appointed vice president of new mobility.

During her tenure at Uber, Holt has been present for the fast-paced rise of the startup and the last several months as it's struggled as a public company. Since its May debut on Wall Street, Uber's share price has slumpedfour board members have stepped down and it's seen an exodus of executives. Uber has also laid off about 5% of its staff in three rounds of cuts. 

Holt was a vocal advocate for Uber during a tumultuous 2017, when the company was dealing with mounting scandals and eventually the forced departure of its founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. In March of that year, after Kalanick was caught on a dashcam berating an Uber driver, Holt publicly addressed the incident and promised the company would do better by its drivers.

"We've underinvested in the driver experience and relationships with many drivers are frayed," Holt said. "We have listened and we've heard that the major pain points from drivers are earnings, stress, support and communications. We are committed to making progress on core driver issues this year."

As head of new mobility, Holt has overseen the expansion of Uber's transit modes outside of traditional ride-hailing. She's helped lead the expansion of the company's Jump pedal-assist bikes and its investment in Lime scooters. She's additionally been responsible for ramping up Uber's own electric scooter program, which also goes under the moniker Jump. 

The venture capital firm Holt is launching is called Construct Capital and will be based in Washington, DC. Though she's leaving Uber, she'll stay on as a company advisor.

"Moments like these are bittersweet," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an emailed statement. "While we will all miss Rachel's talent, expertise and passion for Uber, I'm really proud she is taking everything she's learned here to help identify, build and scale the next generation of startups."