On Monday, chief executive officer of Uber said that his aim was to achieve ‘responsible growth’ for the company because he wants to put an end to the take-no-prisoners culture. This was something he had inherited when he became a part of the ride-hailing service last year. Speaking at a technology conference in Munich, Dara Khosrowshahi said that the US firm was now going to move away from the aim of ‘growth at all costs’ to a more streamlined approach of ‘responsible growth’. This includes starting from scratch in Germany, where the company had previously dealt with legal battles.
Khosrowshahi has declared that he would make a clean break from past practices because those have landed the company in various regulatory and legal problems, court cases, consumer and driver scandals and a large number of accusations about the toxic work culture at Uber. Speaking on stage at DLD Munich, which is the annual gathering for the tech elite of Silicon Valley and Europe, he said that considering what the firm went through, they were doing rather well. He added that profitability was the only aspect that was not working for the company. He also said that Uber was working with German regulators for solving the previous issues.
Co-founder Travis Kalanick had been forced to resign from the San Francisco-based firm by the board of directors and Khosrowshahi had been appointed as his replacement in August of last year. When Uber had first entered Germany, it had faced a wide array of problems and had had to battle with city regulators and taxi associations. In 2014, the amateur ride-hailing service had been declared illegal by a court in the country. Currently, Uber is offering rides with licensed taxi drivers in Munich and Berlin, but it is only a small fish in the taxi market in Germany.
Khosrowshahi said that as a market, Germany holds a lot of potential for Uber and it hasn’t been realized as yet. Therefore, they are going to reset their strategy. He also stated that Uber was in talks with officials in London after its license to operate had been pulled by transport authorities last September. They had declared that the company was not ‘fit and proper’ for running a taxi service. The CEO said that they had committed to operating a more environmental friendly fleet in the London market like using hybrid electric vehicle, which they would implement if they were allowed back in.
On the upside, Khosrowshahi said that Uber’s expansion into food delivery would help transform it into the largest firm in the category this year. This is exactly four years after it had introduced Uber Eats in the US and eventually overseas. Now, Uber Eats is functional in about 220 cities all over the world. The different ride-hailing services offered by Uber are available in almost 700 cities and 80 countries, but the constant fallout from the decisions taken by the previous CEO are proving to be a constant handicap for the new one.