Uber CEO to Talk to London Regulators

Uber's new CEO to meet London transport chief in bid to keep license

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is meeting London transport regulators on Tuesday after the ride-hailing app lost its license to operate in the British capital, one of its most important foreign markets.

Transport for London (TfL), which runs and regulates the capital’s transport system, stunned Uber last month by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its license.

Dara Khosrowshahi will be in the U.K. capital for an emergency meeting Tuesday with transportation authorities to try to salvage the company’s business in its largest European market.

The newly-appointed Uber boss will sit down with Mike Brown, the commissioner of Transport for London (TFL).

Khosrowshahi wrote in a letter to staff at the time that Uber would appeal the decision, which was likely based on the company’s past behavior.

“The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation,” he wrote. “It really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours.

Less than two months into the job, Khosrowshahi’s challenges spread from management to drivers. On Monday, the manager in charge of the U.K. and Northern Europe, Jo Bertram, stepped down after four years at the company.

Bertram, who was involved in building Uber’s business in London, said her departure isn’t connected to the licensing and that she’s taking a new job outside Uber.

Uber’s British management has been criticized by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chairman of TfL. Khan said the firm needed to spend less time hiring “an army of PR experts and an army of lawyers” and instead address issues raised by TfL.

Khan, a center-left politician of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, approved Tuesday’s meeting between Khosrowshahi and TfL Commissioner Mike Brown, who is in charge of TfL’s day-to-day operations.

Uber’s license expired on Sept. 30 but its roughly 40,000 drivers have still been able to take passengers until an appeals process is done, which could take several months.

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