Hailo taxi app appoints Andrew Pinnington its third chief executive in three months

Guy Bentley
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Hailo has a new boss (Source: Hailo)

Taxi app company Hailo has appointed its third chief executive in as many months.

Andrew Pinnington, former head of operating officer at Carphone Warehouse, will be heading the British taxi hailing company, according to FT's Sally Davies. The Hailo app matches taxi drivers to passengers and has been on the London scene since 2011.

Hailo has been struggling to compete with bigger US rivals such as Uber. Last year, Hailo had to pull out of the US, citing "astronomical marketing spend". However, intense competition from Lyft, Uber and Sidecar were likely a major factor.

Pinnington will have quite a job on his hands to entice passengers to opt for black cabs when Uber still has the edge on price. He takes over from ex-Starbucks boss Tom Barr, who succeeded Hailo co-founder Jay Bregman.

Hailo has tried to adapt by opening up its service to private hire vehicles, which elicited vehement protest from cabbies. In May last year, a London office owned by Hailo was vandalised with word "scabs" drawn on the wall of the office.

The company has introduced Pay Hailo, which allows the passenger to connect to the driver via the Pay with Hailo button, set the tip, and receive an electronic receipt after the journey.

Hailo Hub gives customers the ability to book taxis on behalf of others, allowing businesses the opportunity to offer a cab whenever they want. Customers are alerted in real-time by SMS when their cab is arriving.

Hailo may not be achieving the scale of growth Uber is enjoying but it managed to achieve its best ever quarter sales at the tail end of 2014. As of December 2013, Hailo operated in 13 cities.

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