Dezeen Magazine

Uber's head of design steps down following controversial rebrand

Uber's head of design Andrew Crow has announced that he is to leave the company, immediately after it unveiled a widely criticised brand redesign.

Crow announced the news on blogging platform Medium the day after Uber's rebrand was revealed. He stated his reason for leaving was to spend more time with his family.

"For me, I'm using our recent successes as a chance to take time off to rest, reflect, and recharge," he said.

"I miss being there for my kids and I'm making a decision that enables that. Soon, I'll be ready to take up the next challenge and it’s going to be great."

Uber's head of design Andrew Crow steps down
Andrew Crow

Crow joined the mobile ride-hail company in 2014, and has since helped grow Uber's design team from 30 to nearly 200 staff. Before Uber, he was a global brand and design director at home appliance company GE.

"When I joined Uber in 2014, I was excited about the challenge  –  build an amazing design team that would impact the world in a positive way," said Crow in his statement. "As a team, we would find great talent, push for the best quality design, and create a culture of inspiration, exploration, and togetherness."

"We were a small team of 30 then, moving quickly without much structure. It was important for us to quickly mature and create an environment where great design powered the company."

"Now, at nearly 200 people globally, the design team spans product, brand and marketing, content strategy, copywriting, prototyping, research, and more," he continued.

Crow's departure follows the launch of Uber's new identity that presents users in different countries with customised colours and patterns.

It is unclear whether Crow was involved in the design – it was developed by the company's CEO. But the rebrand was widely met with criticism. It was called out as "confusing" by Techspot and likened to "an asshole" by Gizmodo.

Uber's new logos
Designed by the company CEO, Uber last week launched a rebrand featuring different app icons for users and partners

Crow described the rebrand as "beautiful" in his statement.

"We created a beautiful new brand for the company that will lead us forward for years to come," he said.

Crow also described his team at Uber as "one of the best".

"They've inspired me, pushed me, and I'm better for having known them. They will continue to do great things," he added.

Kalanick set up Uber with Garrett Camp in 2009 as a black car service for 100 friends in San Francisco. It went on to kick-start a transformation of the taxi industry that has caused uproar in numerous countries.

Uber's first logo was a red magnet designed by Camp, before a greyscale identity – that the new logo replaces – was introduced in 2011.