clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Uber Taps Facebook Exec Joe Sullivan as First Chief Security Officer

The move comes a month after the company disclosed a hacking incident.

360b / Shutterstock

Ride-summoning service Uber today named Joe Sullivan, the head of security for Facebook, as its first chief security officer.

The hiring comes a little more than month after Uber disclosed that hackers had breached its systems and accessed the names and license numbers of some 50,000 current and former Uber drivers in the U.S.

Uber has continued to struggle with both physical and data safety. Last year, one of its drivers was accused of hitting a passenger in the head with a hammer. The company has also been sued in U.S. federal court by a passenger who alleged that an Uber driver in India raped her.

 Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Uber
Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Uber

CEO Travis Kalanick announced the move in a company blog post, writing: “As we get into tens of millions of rides a week, we continue to challenge ourselves to do even better when it comes to safety and data security. … It’s no longer about traditional metrics for safe transportation or keeping our community’s data private and secure, but about how we lead efforts to redefine and strengthen physical and data security in the location-based world.”

Sullivan has been Facebook’s CSO for five years, and before that was an associate general counsel in its legal office. He previously spent seven years at PayPal and eBay and eight years as a federal prosecutor specializing in cyber crime.

While at Facebook he represented the social networking giant at the recent Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University with President Obama. His last day with Facebook will be at the end of April.

In a statement that accompanied Kalanick’s blog post, Sullivan called joining Uber “a chance to help build the culture of a young and growing organization, and to continue building upon the safety and security initiatives that are the backbone of Uber’s success.”

“Joe’s many contributions have made the Facebook community safer and more secure,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Re/code. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.