Jill Hazelbaker was offered — and declined — a job with Apple, choosing to help rideshare service Uber with its public image.
Hazelbaker is known for her no-nonsense, company-first attitude. Since 2015 has been making a name for herself as the face of Uber’s PR department.
She started in public relations in 2007 when she joined up with Jonh McCain’s presidential campaign. During her time there, she was promoted to communications director.
After McCain’s loss, she joined Michael Bloomberg’s reelection campaign in New York, leading him to victory. Her time with Bloomberg was cut short, as in 2010, she began working with Google in the PR department.
In 2014, she moved from Google to Snapchat. A year later, Hazelbaker made a move to work with Uber.
Since 2015, Hazelbaker has been with the rideshare pioneer, working to extinguish PR fires as they popped up. She was responsible for handling the 2017 issues surrounding gender discrimination and toxic workplace culture.
When a video surfaced of then CEO Travis Kalanick yelling at an Uber driver while a passenger was in the car, Hazelbaker was tasked with cleaning up the damage. She handled the situation by leading the charge to have Kalanick step down as Uber’s CEO, instead allowing the company to move on from the bad press surrounding him — and ultimately, he did.
When speaking about it, she reiterates her duty to the company, not to any single person.
“I felt my job was to serve the company and its employees and its shareholders and not any one executive, and I think that was a really tough period for Uber, and I’m proud of how we have come out the other side,” she said.
Since then, her primary role has been helping Uber fight against policies requiring the company to treat drivers as employees. Along with others at Lyft, GrubHub, DoorDash, and more, she worked tirelessly to pass the controversial Proposition 22 — which exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits to drivers.