- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber, is debating whether to come to London to lobby regulators after his company’s app was banned in the city, according to The Financial Times.
Khosrowshahi, the former CEO of travel website Expedia, replaced Uber founder Travis Kalanick as CEO just three weeks ago and he’s got several major diplomatic battles to fight all over the world.
Multiple sources, including Mark MacGann, who previously headed Uber’s European policy team, told the FT that it would be in Uber’s best interests for Khosrowshahi to visit London and meet regulators at Transport for London (TfL). Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I think Dara can’t not go,” MacGann reportedly said on the topic of the London trip. “He will want to go show his brand of leadership … sending anyone else would be viewed as the ‘old, arrogant Uber.'”
Transport for London (TfL) announced last Friday that Uber would not be issued with a private hire operator’s licence once its current licence is up on 30 September.
TfL said Uber was not “fit and proper” to hold a licence, adding that the firm’s approach to reporting serious driver offences, approach to driver medical and safety checks, and use of its secret “Greyball” software to dodge transport officials all contributed to its decision.
Uber said it would challenge TfL’s the decision in court. The company has also launched a petition calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to reverse TfL’s decision. The petition had received over 634,000 signatures on Sunday.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomed an apology from Khosrowshahi on Monday. The apology was made in an open letter to Londoners. But he also invited Khosrowshahi to meet with TfL. “Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him,” said Khan.
London is Uber’s biggest market in Europe and considered to be one of the taxi-hailing company’s top three markets in terms of revenue.