Uber Northern European Manager Jo Bertram resigned her position on Monday, shortly after Transport for London refused to renew the company's operating license in one of the largest and richest cities on the planet, Reuters reports, citing an internal email authored by Ms. Bertram. Despite the recent troubles Uber faced in London, Ms. Bertram's resignation seems to be her own decision, with her email implying that she's already set to take up a position at another company which she has yet to name. Uber's manager for Europe Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty said that Ms. Bertram will remain at the firm in the coming weeks to help transition the Northern European department of the company to new leadership, according to another internal email seen by Reuters.
The company's executive who's now set to leave her post said she thinks the timing of her decision can help Uber overcome its current challenges by bringing in a new chief who will stay with the company in the long term, implying that was never her intention when she joined the ride-hailing service provider four years ago. Uber's London chief Tom Elvidge will temporarily take over Ms. Bertram's duties which encompass expansion and operations in ten countries including the United Kingdom and Benelux. The company's recently appointed Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi is scheduled to fly to London tomorrow to hold talks with Transport for London over Uber's denied license renewal request. The competent authority opted to revoke the company's right to operate in the city last month due to what it deemed was a lack of corporate responsibility, citing issues related to passenger safety and working conditions. Mr. Khosrowshahi later apologized for the ordeal and pledged he'll do everything in his power to see the license renewed. While some industry watchers were speculating the controversy will prompt management layoffs and changes at Uber, Ms. Bertram wasn't mentioned in the context of being on the list of departures, especially not by her own decision.
Uber has been in London since 2012 and is still legally operating in the city while its appeal is being reviewed by local officials despite its license officially expiring last Saturday. Should the company eventually manage to negotiate a renewal, a new five-year license would set it back nearly $4 million, a steep increased compared to 3,000 pounds it paid for an identical permit in mid-2012.