Uber has for the first time appoint a UK chairman. The company appointed an experienced banker Powers-Freeling as the chairman of the UK branch, which happens to be the Uber’s most important European market.
Powers-Freeling has a rich history as she held roles such as the CEO of Marks & Spencer’s, a senior advisor at the bank of England and several other roles. She is slated to take over his new role on the first of November.
In her statement after the announcement, “Uber is transforming how people get around and as a business, it is also undergoing an important period of change.” She added, “I look forward to working with the UK business to help them manage and implement that change”.
The company has been facing problems over the past few weeks in London as the British authorities had revoked their license, claiming that they don’t have all it takes to run a taxi service in the city. This has presented a challenge to them and their 40,000 drivers in the city. They got their license revoked due to instances of criminal offenses and the fact that they haven’t done a proper background check on their drivers.
Uber has however continued its business in London until the appeal processes are all used up, a move that could take years. The first hearing of the case will be held on the 11th of December. Uber is also looking to renew its license in Brighton, with their license set to expire on the 4th of next month.
In their case with the city of London, the Mayor of the city Sadiq Khan accused the company of suing the media and plenty lawyers but refusing to engage with the relevant authorities. The $70 billion-valued company is hoping that the newly created role for the UK market will give them a better insight into its British team and what is happening in the region. Tom Elvidge, the interim general manager of the UK market said, “With this new position Laurel will help us with the next phase of changes we want to make to our UK business.” “We’re determined to learn from the mistakes of the past and make things right,” he added.
The role of general manager is still up for grabs since Jo Bertram quit earlier this month. Elvidge has been handling the activities of the company in the UK ever since but the company is looking for a permanent replacement.