Recently the CEO of the taxi-hailing company Uber Dara Khosrowshahi sent an email to all its employees after the London transport authority decided not to renew the company’s license. The email was rather emotional, self-reflective and tad bit heartbreaking. The company had been facing many taxing problems for quite a while, and it seems that it has finally taken a toll on them. The problems were because of apparent sexism that had been happening in the company and the questionable leadership style of the former CEO and the founder Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi told the employees of the company that “there is a high cost to a bad reputation.”
The text of the email was primarily published on Twitter by Bloomberg reporter Eric Newcomber. “Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (to be clear, I don’t think we did), it really matters what people think of us, and especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another” wrote the new CEO. One can without any doubt say that the company is taking these controversies as lessons and that the ban in a city which is larger and instrumental in terms of the business can push Uber to enhance its systematic issues.
Some of the issues include the usage of Greyball by Uber. Greyball is a custom software that allows the company to dodge law enforcement and regulatory officials from making use of the full app for any potential sting operations. City’s transportation authority, Transport for London(TfL) was cited among other offenses when it declined to renew the license. They stated that the company’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”
Khosrowshahi concluded the mail by saying “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,” he continued “That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles — we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision — but rather building trust through our actions and our behavior. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningful contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.”
It has been a tough year for Uber, let us hope they recover soon.