A Credit Suisse associate who joined the bank immediately after completing an MBA has jumped across to Uber after just three years at the bank.
Reid Simon, who was an associate at Credit Suisse in New York until last year, has worked at both Uber and its subsidiary Xchange Leasing since his departure from the bank last year. He took the later role earlier this month. Simon joined Credit Suisse in 2014 after completing an MBA at Duke University Fuqua.
Simon is an example of the problems investment banks face attracting and retaining entrepreneurial young recruits. Not only are banks struggling to hire MBAs in the face of competition from big tech firms – they’re losing them quickly once they’re hired.
Simon worked in the transport and logistics division of Credit Suisse’s investment banking division, so clearly felt that his expertise could be better used in a fast-growing auto tech company. It’s not uncommon for investment bankers to jump into the industry they cover, but it usually happens when they reach managing director level.
Junior investment banking jobs are, of course, renowned for their relentless long hours and strict hierarchical working environment. Uber is unlikely to be any more relaxed, however.
Brad Stone’s new book The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the killer companies of the new Silicon Valley are changing the world suggests that Uber’s working environment is confrontational and that one of its core values is toe-stepping. It’s also exhausting and unrelenting for employees, he suggested.
But, while Uber is essentially a tech company, Stone suggests that it’s the ground operations that are at its heart – so Simon is clearly in the right division. Uber may be controversial – its latest PR troubles involve a claim of sexual discrimination by a female software engineer – but it’s also involved in some exciting innovations. Earlier this month it hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to start a new flying car initiative.
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