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Parkersburg Catholic grad now executive at Uber

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — A Parkersburg Catholic High School graduate is riding with Uber in a high-level executive position.

Jeff Jones, who has served as chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Target since 2012, is joining Uber as its president of ride-sharing, according to a post from Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick on the company’s website. Jones graduated from Parkersburg Catholic in 1985, then received a degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Dayton.

In his new position, Jones will be responsible for Uber’s operations, marketing and global customer support, Kalanick said in his post.

“As we move into the next phase at Uber, one in which we will build a global brand infused in every customer interaction, I cannot think of a better person to lead us on this journey than Jeff,” Kalanick said. “He has a long track record of working with the best: He’s held leadership roles at the best creative agencies (Leo Burnett), consumer products companies (Coca-Cola) and retailers (Target and Gap).”

Legislation passed earlier this year allowed ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to begin operating in West Virginia. Currently, Uber serves the Charleston and Morgantown areas.

A statement from Target CEO Brian Cornell, posted on that company’s website, said Jones is leaving the company effective Sept. 9. He thanked Jones for his work at the retailer.

“Since joining Target in 2012 as our chief marketing officer, Jeff Jones has modernized Target’s marketing and helped drive Target’s strategy, creating momentum for the company and positioning Target for the future,” Cornell said. “He worked tirelessly to sharpen our focus on the guest and evolved our marketing capabilities to center on the important role digital plays in their lives.”

Target will undergo “an extensive internal and external search for our next chief marketing officer,” he added.

Jones’ departure comes as Target has hit a bump in its path of reinvention. The company cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook earlier this month, as it saw fewer customers in its stores. Traffic fell in the second quarter for the first time in a year-and-a-half, while sales fell 1.1 percent, reversing seven straight quarters of gains.

Target acknowledged its failure to push the second part of its “Expect More, Pay Less” slogan as the main factor. It’s also wrestling with other company-specific woes as well as industrywide problems, ranging from a lack of new electronics for sale and lingering disruptions caused by the sale last year of its pharmacy business to CVS.

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