The UK executive of ride-sharing company Uber, Jo Bertram, has reportedly left the company following Uber losing its license to operate in London.
Business Insider UK reports that the UK Uber executive Jo Bertram is leaving the company shortly after Uber lost its license for operating in London. Bertram has worked at Uber for the past four years and acted as the regional general manager for Northern Europe.
Uber recently lost their license to operate in London as they were deemed “not fit and proper” by the public transport body Transport For London. Newly appointed Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi plans to meet with regulators in London on Tuesday to discuss the license.
Bertram announced her departure to staff in an email:
Subject Line: Thank you for a brilliant journey
As many of you have just heard at our All Hands meeting, I’ve decided to move on to something new and exciting. I’m leaving Uber with great memories, friendships and many amazing experiences, and I’ll never forget the great things that we’ve achieved together as a team.
When I showed up on my first day four years ago, at our tiny serviced office in Baker Street, I quickly realised that this company was special – not only in its ambitions, but also in the way we all pulled together. Whether responding to all sorts of customer questions, buying our own laptops, or distributing mobile phones to our early partner drivers, we all had to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to build a business. I had wanted to experience the pace and craziness of life at a start-up, and Uber certainly delivered!
I’m tremendously lucky to have spent the last four years with you, and it has been breathtaking to see the team grow so quickly. When I joined as General Manager for London, we had just three team members in the city and a few hundred drivers. Together, we then rolled out our services to more than 40 towns and cities across the United Kingdom, where we now serve almost 5 million riders and more than 50,000 drivers.
Since I became Regional General Manager for Northern Europe, I’ve been proud to lead what is now a team of 300 people across 10 countries. I’ve learned a lot during this rapid expansion and, in every market we entered, you could quickly see the impact we had on the way people travelled and lived their lives.
While we often talk about the growth we’ve seen, we can also be proud of the progress our team has made in improving the service for both drivers and riders. Though there’s always more to be done, we’ve taken big strides for a young company. From the introduction of discounted illness and injury cover for drivers, to the roll out of ACCESS for wheelchair users and most recently our Clean Air Plan, there are many initiatives we can be proud of. I know there are many more exciting things to come.
Over the course of this year, I’ve been reflecting on these incredible last four years and what might come next for me. I’ve also discussed this with Pierre and I’m proud that we’ve built this business into more than we ever thought possible. And I’ve realised that taking a nascent company and helping it scale into a major international operation is what I’ve enjoyed most. 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.
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.
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. I’ll work with you in the coming weeks on the best possible transition.
I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned in the last four years. This company and its people will always have a very special place in my heart.
According to Uber’s head of EMEA operations, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Bertram will stay with the company over the next few weeks to help ensure a smooth transition, while Tom Elvidge, the general manager for London, will be taking over as acting general manager for the UK.
Gore-Coty discussed Bertram leaving the company in an email to staff, writing, “Jo is certainly one the most impressive people I’ve had the pleasure to work with and the success of our business in Northern Europe is in large part down to her leadership. The passion, energy and commitment she puts into her work has made her an inspiring role model and a fantastic leader since she joined Uber four years ago.”
Uber has found themselves subject to a number of lawsuits, including multiple sexual harassment lawsuits and an investigation that saw as many as 20 Uber employees fired from the company and another 31 placed in counseling. Shortly after this, Uber’s former President of Business in the Asia Pacific, Eric Alexander, was fired for sharing the medical records of a customer in India who was raped by her driver in 2014. Uber is also currently under investigation over the company’s alleged use of “Greyball” software, which reportedly allowed Uber to hide cars from regulators and law enforcement, and is facing a lawsuit from Google parent company Alphabet’s Waymo driverless car company.