Rescue Mission: Over 600,000 Londoners Sign Petition To Save Uber

Following the Transport Agency in London’s declaration of Uber being unfit to work in the country’s capital and stripping it of ot’s work licence, at least 600,000 people have signed a petition calling for Transport for London to reverse its decision.

20,000 Uber drivers have emailed the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who defended TfL’s decision on Saturday amid a growing backlash. “I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners – but it would be wrong for TfL to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety,” Khan said.

“As mayor of London I welcome innovative new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service – but providing an innovative service is not an excuse for not following the rules. All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to safety.”

According to reports Unions and Labour MPs have welcomed the decision. Wes Streeting, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on taxis, described it as a “courageous” move.

He said: “It finally draws a line in the sand to make it clear that no company, however big and powerful, will be allowed to flout our laws and regulations or jeopardise Londoners’ safety without facing serious consequences.”

But an increasing number of customers have expressed dismay at the news. Saturday night the Save Your Uber in London campaign on the Change.org website had gained nearly 600,000 signatures.

“That is the fastest-growing petition we’ve seen in the UK this year,” Kajal Odedra, UK director at Change.org, said.

TfL took the decision not to renew Uber’s licence for security and safety reasons. But the company, which intends to appeal, is puzzled as to why these issues were not raised during the renewal process. Uber passed its annual compliance audit in April but a series of pre-scheduled meetings with TfL were cancelled. Requests to meet Khan were also rejected.

Khan said: “I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers, affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber. They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator.”

The mayor did, though, hint that a compromise could still be on the cards.

“I suspect it will take some time before this situation with Uber fully plays out,” Khan said. “In the meantime, I will continue to help support innovative businesses in London and to create a vibrant and safe taxi and private hire market.”

The former transport minister Lord Adonis tweeted that there was a need to find a way forward short of banning Uber. “On Uber, right course is for TfL to set out precisely & reasonably what Uber needs to do & give them chance to do it. Then happy Londoners,” he wrote.

Uber’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, used a global email to staff to warn that TfL’s decision could “have profound negative consequences for the 40,000 drivers who depend on Uber for work and the 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get around”.

“It’s particularly discouraging that this is happening in the UK, where the team has led the way on partnerships to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible and electric vehicles on the road,” Khosrowshahi said.

He acknowledged that globalised businesses could not ignore what happened at the local level: “It really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.”

Nigeria Gets Another Exemption From Oil Cut

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non-OPEC countries have approved Nigeria’s exemption from oil production cuts.

A statement by the Director, Press Relations, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Idang Alibi, said the endorsement was given by at a meeting of OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee on Friday in Vienna.

Nigeria was first granted production cuts at the November, 2016 Ministerial Conference and this was later extended in May at another Ministerial Conference, until the country stabilizes its crude oil production.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said though Nigeria’s production recovery efforts had made some appreciable progress from October, 2016, it was not yet ”out of the woods”.

The statement quoted Kachikwu, who was at the Vienna meeting, as saying that though Nigeria hit 1.8 million barrels production per day in August, it was not enough justification for call by some countries for Nigeria “to be brought into the fold”.

”Nigeria as one of the older members of OPEC will continue to work for the good of the organisation and its member countries, respecting whatever agreements and resolutions are collectively made.

”Nigeria will be prepared to cap its crude production when it has stabilized at 1.8 million barrels per day,” he said.

The meeting noted that overall compliance by OPEC and Non-OPEC participating countries to the Agreement on oil production cut for August was 116 per cent, the highest since the agreement in January, 2017.

It said that the objectives of the accord were steadily being achieved with the gradual draw-down of inventories by nearly 50 per cent since the agreement came into effect.

Uber Declared Unfit To Work In London

Uber has been declared unfit to work in London by it’s transport authority. This was announced by Transport for London (TFL) today, and the reasons given were that Uber is not fit and proper to operate due to concerns over public safety, and also their approach to reporting criminal offences.

A petition with 100,000 signatures was submitted to TfL, calling on Uber to improve workers’ rights or ‘get out of London’ ahead of the licence decision.

They are now barred working in London after their current licence expires on September 30.

‘TfL considers that Uber’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.’

Uber Has Picked Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi To Be Its New CEO

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been selected to be the CEO of Uber by the company’s board, a source close to the company has confirmed to Business Insider.

Uber has not yet publicly announced the news – apparently Khosrowshahi hasn’t officially accepted the offer. But a spokesperson did say, “The Board has voted and will announce the decision to the employees first,” reports Recode’s Kara Swisher.

Khosrowshahi’s appointment comes after embattled Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick was ousted as the CEO of the world’s most valuable private company in June, and as Uber has suffered an exodus of its top ranks amidst mounting public scandals.

The board had narrowed the CEO search down to three people, with different factions backing different candidates. Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt was a top candidate, but he publicly backed out on Sunday.

Another of the three candidates, HP CEO Meg Whitman, met with Uber’s board over the weekend despite her publicly saying she wouldn’t take the job last month.

Khosrowshahi’s involvement in the CEO search wasn’t made known until Sunday, making him a dark horse in the race.

Khosrowshahi, 48, has been CEO of Expedia for 12 years and during that time Expedia’s revenues grew from $2.1 billion in in 2005 to $8.7 billion in 2016. He turned Expedia into the biggest online travel agency in the US, owning travel sites like Hotels.com, Orbitz, Trivago, HomeAway, Travelocity as well as sites for vacation rentals, car rentals and so on. When the 2008 financial meltdown hit the company hard, he reorganized and doubled down on technology.

Prior to running Expedia, he was the CFO at IAC. IAC bought Expedia in 2003, then spun it out in 2005.

Khosrowshahi was born in Iran but came to the US as a kid, grew up in New York State and is a US citizen. He has a degree in electrical engineering and before landing at IAC, he went into finance, working for investment bank Allen & Co.

He has a reputation as a good leader, according to ratings on Glassdoor, with a 93% approval rating.

He will need good leadership to help Uber recover from its tumultuous past that created so much division, board members were suing each other.

Uber and Expedia couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Source: Business Insider

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick May Be Forced To Temporarily Step Down

At this point, it’s effectively impossible to keep up with all of scandals that Uber has found itself involved in over the past few years. From trying to sabotage Lyft to purposefully breaking Apple’s iOS privacy rules, Uber has a well-earned track record of openly disregarding rules for monetary and marketshare gains. And that’s to say nothing of the personnel issues impacting Uber, including various sexual harassment accusations and a widely circulated video featuring CEO Travis Kalanick aggressively arguing with an Uber driver.

In the wake of the aforementioned video, Kalanick went so far as to issue a rare public apology, stating in part: “It’s clear this video is a reflection of me — and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.”

 

All in all, it seems that we can’t even go a full month without a new Uber controversy making its way into the news cycle. That being the case, there may be some huge changes afoot for the popular ride-sharing company. According to a new report from Reuters, Uber’s board of directors will be having a meeting later today where one of the topics of discussion will center on whether or not Kalanick should temporarily step away from the company.

Uber Sets ‘Flying Car’ Launch For 2020

Uber on Tuesday at a summit held in the Dallas area with partners in the project said it wants to launch a system of flying cars to move people around cities, with a goal of putting demonstration projects in place by 2020. The ridesharing giant announced a series of partnerships to manufacture “vertical takeoff and landing” (VTOL) vehicles and put networks in place, a system dubbed Uber Elevate.

The partner cities working with Uber are Dubai and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis in Texas.

“The goal of these partnerships is to develop a new on-demand VTOL network to enable customers in the future to push a button and get a high-speed flight in and around cities,” Uber said in a statement.

“What started as a simple question ‘why can’t I push a button and get a ride?’ has turned, for Uber, into a passionate pursuit of the pinnacle of urban mobility — the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility in all corners of a city,” said Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden.

“Urban aviation is a natural next step for Uber in this pursuit, which is why we are working to make push a button, get a flight a reality.”

 

2016 Fiscal Record: Uber Loses $2.8 Billion

After a string of corporate crises, Uber is taking the unusual step of releasing financials to highlight its business growth.

Uber’s gross bookings for 2016 hit $20 billion, more than doubling from the year prior, according to financial figures the company provided to Bloomberg.

Its net revenue, after drivers took their cut, totaled $6.5 billion for the year.

But that rapid growth came at a cost. Uber says it lost $2.8 billion in 2016, excluding the China business it sold midway through the year.

Uber’s CEO had previously said it was losing $1 billion a year in China, prior to selling its China business to rival Didi Chuxing in August.

Momo Zhou, a spokeswoman for Uber, confirmed the latest numbers to CNNTech.

The loss is a hefty sum by any standard. But on a quarterly basis, the company continued to grow sales at a fast clip in the second half of the year while keeping losses constant.

“We’re fortunate to have a healthy and growing business, giving us the room to make the changes we know are needed on management and accountability, our culture and organization, and our relationship with drivers,” Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager for U.S. and Canada, said in a statement provided to CNNTech.

Uber, like any private company, is not required to publicly report its finances.

The selective financial disclosure may be an attempt to boost confidence in the business among employees, investors and the general public after a series of public relations crises.

Uber is currently conducting an “urgent” investigation in response to a former employee who made public allegations of sexism and harassment at the company.

That came on the heels of a viral boycott of Uber in January.

Social media users urged customers to #DeleteUber after the company was perceived as breaking up a strike of taxi drivers who were protesting President Trump’s travel ban.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, was also caught on camera arguing with a driver. Uber is now said to be looking for a COO.

CNNTech

Uber Halts Self-Driving Car Tests After Arizona Crash

Uber is suspending its entire self-driving car program while it investigates a crash involving one of its vehicles in Tempe, Arizona.

The ride-hailing company confirmed the crash after a photo was posted on Twitter showing an Uber SUV Volvo on its side next to another dented car with broken windows.

No one was injured, Tempe police told Bloomberg News. The Uber vehicle was not found to be fault, as another car failed to yield the right of way.

“There was a person behind the wheel” of the Uber car, police spokesman Jose Montenegro told the publication. “It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision.”

All autonomous cars are currently required to have humans behind the wheel to take control of the vehicle if necessary. There were no passengers in the back seat, according to Uber.

Uber began testing its cars in Arizona after its self-driving program was shut down in California late last year because the company had failed to obtain the proper permits. California cracked down after Uber autonomous cars were seen breezing through red lights. The company agreed to comply with the state’s rules and once again began testing its cars in San Francisco earlier this month.

The Tempe crash is more bad news for the company, which recently has been hit by a litany of accusations, including complaints of sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace.

Uber used the software tool Greyball to dodge taxi enforcement officials, The New York Times reported earlier this month. And Waymo, the autonomous-car company owned by Google parent company Alphabet, sued Uber earlier this year for allegedly stealing designs for sensor technology.

Dashcam footage also recently captured company co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick berating a new driver, prompting Kalanick to issue a statement saying, “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”

Credit: The Huffington Post

Uber Hires Ex-Us Attorney General To Probe Sexual Harassment

Uber Technologies Inc has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review of sexual harassment claims at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee.

Holder and Tammy Albarran, who are partners at the law firm Covington & Burling, will look into the complaints about a manager at Uber, as well as general questions about diversity and inclusion, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick told his employees in a memo on Monday that was seen by Reuters.

Last year, Airbnb hired Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, to help craft a policy to combat discrimination occurring through the online lodging service’s platform.

Arianna Huffington, who joined Uber’s board last year, Liane Hornsey, Uber’s chief human resources officer, and Angela Padilla, the company’s associate general counsel, will also help conduct the review, Kalanick said in the memo.

Huffington, Kalanick and Hornsey will meet on Tuesday, the memo said.

Susan Fowler, the former Uber employee who complained of being the target of sexual harassment by her manager, wrote in a blog post on Sunday that when she reported the offense to human resources officials and management, they declined to punish the alleged offender because he “was a high performer” and that this was his first offense.”

Fowler also said, after speaking with other female employees, she realized that both HR and management had been lying about this being the manager’s “first offense.”

In a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday, Kalanick called Fowler’s allegations “abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”

Fowler’s tale prompted a backlash, including calls for a revival of the #DeleteUber movement. Some protesters urged a boycott of the ride service over allegations it sought to profit from the chaos at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport last month, after President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to people from seven Muslim majority countries.

Many women working in Silicon Valley, particularly in highly technical roles, say they have experienced misogyny and harassment in the male-dominated field. Technology companies are under mounting pressure to make their workforces more diverse by hiring more women, blacks and Latinos – but progress has been slow.

“There have been many questions about the gender diversity of Uber’s technology teams,” Kalanick said. Uber will publish a broader diversity report for the company in the coming months, he said.

“I believe in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do,” Kalanick said. “Every Uber employee should be proud of the culture we have and what we will build together over time.”

 

Source: Today.ng