Uber’s regional general manager for Northern Europe, Jo Bertram, is leaving the company. The news was reported earlier by Reuters and confirmed by an Uber spokesman who forwarded the departure email sent by Bertram and a reply from Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s head of EMEA.
Uber’s London general manager Tom Elvidge will take over as acting UK general manager while Uber goes through its usual hiring process, according to Gore-Coty’s email. Bertram’s departure comes just over a week after Uber lost its license to operate in London.
On September 22 the city’s regulator, TfL, announced it would not be renewing Uber’s private hire vehicle license. Uber is appealing the decision and can continue to operate in London during this process.
New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be in London on Tuesday to meet with the city’s transport commissioner. TfL said Uber had requested the meeting and London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, had asked it to meet with him.
TfL has said Uber is not a “fit and proper” operator, listing several reasons for remove licensing — including the company’s approach to reporting serious crimes by drivers using its platform, and its use of proprietary software developed internally to help it evade regulatory oversight (although Uber has claimed it has not used the ‘Greyball’ program in London for that specific purpose).
Given the company’s current crisis in Europe Bertram’s departure has the look of an attempt to appease the regulator with a high profile scalp. Although her departure email does not specifically mention the loss of license in London, nor address any of the concerns raised by TfL. Nor indeed does Gore-Coty’s email.
And given London is the city where Uber has had major problems with its UK business it might raise eyebrows it’s handing the reins (even if only temporarily) to its London general manager — who, according to LinkedIn, has been overseeing operations in the city since September 2015.
Instead, the closest mention Uber’s London licensing problems get from Bertram is when she writes: “Given some of our current challenges, I’m also convinced that now is the right time to have a change of face, and to hand over to someone who will be here for the long haul and take us into the next phase.” She also implies her departure was already in train prior to the regulator’s announcement, saying she “would like to have announced my move in smoother circumstances”, and writing that she’s leaving for “an exciting new opportunity”. And we understand she had been intending to depart for some time, having clocked up four years with the company. The email does not specify exactly what job she’s leaving to take up.
Continue reading (including two emails from Bertram and Gore-Coty): https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/02/ubers-northern-europe-chief-departs-after-london-license-loss/?utm_medium=TCnewsletter
- Jo Bertram, Uber’s Northern Europe manager, is leaving.