Uber announced Tuesday that Bozoma Saint John has joined the company as its new Chief Brand Officer. She joins the company from Apple, where she was the global head of consumer marketing for Apple Music & iTunes. According to a statement from Uber, she will be “charged with helping build a deeper, more meaningful connection between Uber and its customers.”
Long a recognized figure in the music industry — she was head of the Music and Entertainment Marketing at Pepsi before joining Beats by Dre in 2014, which was purchased by Apple shortly after she arrived — Saint John stepped onto the global stage a year ago at the Apple WWDC, where she grooved to Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” while demonstrating Apple Music’s new user interface, prompting an enthusiastic reaction in the press and social media. She also stepped in front of the camera in a commercial for Apple Music featuring James Corden and Apple executives Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine, which premiered on the 2016 Emmy Awards.
Her new role makes a high-profile statement for Uber, which has faced accusations of sexual harassment from female employees in recent months.
While at Apple, Saint John worked on such campaigns as the ad for Taylor Swift’s workout wipdeout and another starring Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson. At Pepsi, led teams that created partnerships with film studios for product placement, record labels for commercial deals, and the sports industry with the NFL for the Super Bowl Halftime Show (featuring Beyonce in 2013, Bruno Mars in 2014, and Katy Perry in 2015).
Prior to Pepsi, Boz served as Vice President of Marketing for Ashley Stewart (a women’s fashion brand) and managed accounts at advertising agencies Arnold Worldwide and Spike Lee’s SpikeDDB. It was in the latter job that her professional relationship with Beyonce began, through a 2002 Pepsi commercial, which culminated in Saint John’s major role in bringing the singer to the Super Bowl halftime show in 2013.
Born in Connecticut and raised in Kenya, Ghana, Washington DC and Colorado, she was named 2016’s Female Executive of the Year by Billboard Magazine, featured in Fortune Magazine’s Disruptors, Innovators & Stars 40 Under 40 feature, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Ad Age’s 50 Most Creative People, Ebony Magazine’s 100 Powerful Executives, among other honors.