How Uber's CEO responded to losing its London licence

Alys Key
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Uber loses its license to operate in London from October (Source: Getty)

Uber's new chief executive has said the company needs to be self-reflective in response to the news that the ride-hailing app's London licence will not be renewed come October.

Dara Khosrowshahi, who took up the position just last month, said in an email to colleagues that "there is a high cost to a bad reputation" and that going forward, "it's crucial that we act with integrity".

He was responding to a team email from Uber's Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who oversees operations in Europe.

Gore-Coty sent employees the official press response and said that the company was talking to "allies across politics and industry" in its bid to get the decision reversed.

Dara Khosroshahi's response in full:

Thanks Pierre, and thanks to everyone working on this issue.

Like all of you, I'm hugely disappointed in the decision by London's Mayor and transport for London. It could have profound negative consequences for the 40,000 drivers who depend on Uber for work and the 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get around.

It's particularly discouraging that this is happening in the UK, where the team has led the way on partnerships with local groups to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible and electric vehicles on the road.

While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I've learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it's worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don't think we did), it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.

Going forward, it's critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in. That doesn't mean abandoning our principles - we will vigorously appeal TfL's decision - but rather building trust through our actions and our behaviours. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.

Thanks for everything you're doing to make Uber the best company it can be, and particularly to our teammates in London and across the UK.


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