Uber’s UK Boss Quits As London Becomes Battleground For Company

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber’s top executive in the U.K. announced Monday morning that she is departing, just as the company is entangled in a heated legal battle in London.

Regulators for the U.K.’s biggest city rejected Uber’s application to renew its license to operate in the city in September, citing a general “lack of corporate responsibility.” The permit officially expired Sept. 30.

It is not exactly clear when Jo Bertram, the regional general manager for Northern Europe, decided she would leave. But in emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, and first reported by Reuters, she said that the company is in need of a new leader to confront the problems lying ahead.

“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,” Bertram wrote.

Tom Elvidge, the head of Uber’s operations in London, is set to take over the company’s larger role for the whole country. Elvidge vehemently defended the firm immediately following the effective ban in London.

“3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living will be astounded by this decision,” said Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, according to TechCrunch. “To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.” (RELATED: London Residents Already Hate The City’s Decision To Ban Uber)

Bertram is expected to stay on temporarily as Uber finds her replacement.

“Jo will remain with us over the next few weeks in order to help with a smooth transition, and I look forward to working closely with the excellent team she leaves behind,” Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s head of Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), said in a statement provided to TheDCNF.

Bertram’s role oversees the business’ services in ten countries, including the Netherlands, Ireland, and Belgium.

“An exciting new opportunity has arisen that will allow me to apply what I’ve learnt here and I’ll be able to share more details with you soon,” Bertram continued in her email. “While I would like to have announced my move in smoother circumstances, I’m proud of the team we’ve built here and am very confident in their abilities to lead the business into the next chapter.”

It is not clear where she is headed next, but Uber will likely push ahead with its appellate bid to get back into its largest market in Europe.

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