clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recode Daily: Uber’s head of communications is leaving at the worst possible time

Plus: What would Jesus disrupt? And cult director John Waters in the role he was born to play.

John Waters plays legendary filmmaker William Castle alongside Jessica Lange, as Joan Crawford, in the FX miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan”

While Uber is mired in controversy on several fronts, the company’s high-profile head of communications and policy, Rachel Whetstone, is departing her “always-on” job after two years. Her top deputy, Jill Hazelbaker, will take over as SVP of comms, heading a 300-person organization. [Kara Swisher / Recode]

Google revealed its employee-compensation model, claiming that it is “blind” to gender and prevents salary discrimination, as it continues to defend itself against U.S. Department of Labor accusations that it underpays women. In January, the agency sued Google, a government contractor, to release salary data that the company has refused to provide. [Tess Townsend / Recode]

What is causing the retail meltdown of 2017? There have already been nine retail bankruptcies this year — as many as in all of 2016 — with J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s and Sears each announcing more than 100 store closures. The rise of e-commerce, an oversupply of malls and a restaurant renaissance may explain the demise of American storefronts. [Derek Thompson / The Atlantic]

New York State is rolling out a free college tuition plan for students from low- to middle-income families. The first-in-the-nation plan, called the Excelsior Scholarship, will let New York residents whose families make up to $125,000 per year attend the state’s public colleges and universities for free. San Francisco recently announced plans to offer free City College tuition to all residents, regardless of need. [Reuters]

What would Jesus disrupt? Embracing the gospel of Silicon Valley, Cincinnati’s Crossroads Church, which has been called a “church for entrepreneurs,” presents a pitch contest where would-be CEOs try to scale their startups without selling their souls. The church also has a for-profit angel-investment wing, and a nonprofit accelerator, whose mandate is to “increase God’s presence in the marketplace.” [Mya Frazier / Bloomberg Businessweek]

The latest test for the Trump White House is pulling off the annual Easter Egg Roll. The administration came close to missing some key deadlines, including inviting Washington, D.C., schoolchildren and ordering the customary commemorative wooden eggs for the 138-year-old celebration. [Julie Hirschfeld Davis / The New York Times]

Top stories from Recode

Lyft just closed a $600 million round of new funding.

The new money comes as the ride-services company has an opportunity to capitalize on rival Uber’s unending drama.

Facebook’s business model for Messenger won’t be payments and commerce after all.

Messenger is focused on mobile advertising — just like the rest of Facebook.

Alphabet wants its lawsuit against Uber to play out publicly.

Google's parent company is opposing Uber’s motion for private arbitration.

This is what you get wrong when you talk about diversity in the workplace.

Code2040 CEO Laura Weidman Powers explains the biggest pitfalls on the Recode Decode podcast.

This is cool

John Waters is William Castle

In the latest bit of stunt casting for his FX miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan,” series creator Ryan Murphy gave the “Pink Flamingos” cult director a cameo role he’s been preparing for since childhood: He plays his idol William Castle, the gimmick king of 1950s B-movie showmanship, whose promotional stunts remain legendary. Waters’ just-published book, “Make Trouble,” is a how-to guide for anyone looking to become the next John Waters. [Liz Shannon Miller / Indiewire]

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.