An Uber executive with strong ties to Kansas City has announced his resignation and return to Kansas.
Uber announced Tuesday that Brian McClendon, vice president of maps and business platforms at Uber, would be stepping down from his post as he explores a life in Kansas politics. A University of Kansas graduate, McClendon in January became an advisor to Kansas City-based venture fund Firebrand VC.
A native of Lawrence, Kan., McClendon said his political ambitions aim to improve the Sunflower State.
“After 30 years away, I’ve decided to move back to my hometown of Lawrence, Kansas,” McClendon said in a statement. “My roots there run deep and traveling back a few times a year no longer seems like enough. This fall’s election and the current fiscal crisis in Kansas is driving me to more fully participate in our democracy — and I want to do that in the place I call home.”
McClendon graduated from KU with a degree in electrical engineering and serves on several advisory boards for his alma mater. Prior to his two-year gig at Uber, McClendon worked at Google’s mapping department for a decade.
This announcement comes just couple days after Uber’s president of ride sharing Jeff Jones resigned. Jones cited a difference in “beliefs and approach to leadership as the reason for his leave, according to the original report from Recode.
McClendon appears to be amicably departing the ride-sharing giant. His last day is scheduled for March 28.
“I believe in Uber’s mission and the many talented people working there to make it a reality and that’s why I have agreed to stay on as an adviser,” McClendon said.
The news puts McClendon closer to his advisory role with Firebrand VC, an area fund that’s focused on investing in Midwest tech ventures.
“Firebrand is thrilled to welcome Brian as a new key member of our world class team,” Firebrand managing director John Fein told Startland News in January. “His technical and entrepreneurial experience will be a huge asset to the fund, periodically helping to evaluate the teams and technologies we’re considering investing in. Brian also has very close ties to KU and Lawrence which is already helping Firebrand engage more closely with those important communities.”
McClendon recently visited Kansas City in September during Techweek KC, delivering a keynote address on the future of driverless cars.