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Uber’s UK boss has quit : Exclusive comment from Warwick Business School

by on October 2, 2017 in Latest News, Lead Article, Movers & Groovers, News you can use, Nuggets

Britain’s top boss for ride hailing app Uber has quit as the company faces being stripped of its licence in London.

In an internal email, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern Europe Jo Bertram, who counts Britain among her responsibilities, says she has made the decision to “move on to something new and exciting” after four years at the company.

Last month, Uber had its license to operate in London revoked, a decision that is now being appealed by the company.

Uber has an estimated 40,000 riders in London but in a statement last month, Transport for London (TfL) said it would be terminating its licence due to the company’s “lack of corporate responsibility”.

Comment from John Colley, of Warwick Business School, Professor of Practice in the Strategy & International Business group and a former Group MD of a FTSE 100 company.

John Colley said: “It seems that, however briefly, peace has arrived at Uber’s board as agreement is reached to limit founder Kalanick’s influence in return for more money from SoftBank and an IPO in 2019.

“The board and investors all want an early IPO before more major misfortunes can befall the business. The main concern will be that profit forecasts will start to be overtaken by results. In view of likely increasing regulation and tougher approaches by regulators such as TfL in London, the forecasts may be hard to achieve.

“Add to this increasing competition and low switching costs for customers and drivers then the sooner an IPO the better. An IPO would not be possible with a split board and internal warfare so Kalanick has traded board and voting influence for the fortune he stands to receive from an IPO.

“However, some other founder shareholders will not be pleased with their loss of voting rights, so litigation is likely. Somehow one feels this still has far to play out.”


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