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Uber’s U.K. boss Jo Bertram quits

(Reuters) — Uber’s top boss in Britain will quit the taxi hailing app just as the firm battles to overturn a decision to strip it of its license in London, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The British capital’s transport regulator deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service last month and decided not to renew its license to operate, citing the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

But in an email seen by Reuters on Monday, Uber’s Northern European Manager Jo Bertram, who has responsibility for Britain among other countries, said the firm needed a new manager in the region to tackle the issues it faces.

“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 said.

In response, Uber’s top boss in Europe, the Middle East and Africa said that the firm would now seek out Bertram’s 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 said in an email seen by Reuters.

The firm’s London boss Tom Elvidge will head up UK operations on an interim basis, he said.

Uber’s new global Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi is due in London on Tuesday to meet the head of the city’s transport regulator in a bid to keep operating in one of its most important foreign markets.

Bertram heads up the San Francisco-based app’s operations in ten countries including Britain, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

In the email, she declined to say where she would be moving to.

“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,” she said.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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