Uber CEO Apologizes to London Residents

“We got things wrong,” new boss Dara Khosrowshahi said.

byWill Sabel Courtney| PUBLISHED Sep 25, 2017 1:57 PM
Uber CEO Apologizes to London Residents

Sometimes, you have to eat a little crow in order to stay in the green. Uber's new CEO has apologized for the ride-hailing company's conduct in the wake of a decision by a governmental agency to pull Uber's permits to give rides in London. 

"On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologize for the mistakes we’ve made,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an open letter to residents of London published in the newspaper The Evening Standard, while simultaneously admitting the company "got things wrong along the way."

The British capital's transportation agency, known as Transport for London or "TfL," announced on September 22 that it would not be renewing Uber's operating permits once they expired this week, citing what it perceived as the Silicon Valley company's various faults—lax reporting policies for criminal acts, loose background checks for drivers, and the use of the regulator-dodging "Greyball" software that's landed the company in hot water in the U.S.A. (However, Uber drivers will still be allowed to operate in the city while the ride-hailing company appeals the decision in court.)

"We will appeal this decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change," Khosrowshahi wrote in his letter. "We won’t be perfect, but we will listen to you; we will look to be long-term partners with the cities we serve; and we will run our business with humility, integrity and passion."

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who serves as the chair of Transport for London's board, said he was glad to hear of the Uber CEO's apologetic attitude, and stressed that he would do what he could to help the company make amends. 

"Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him," Khan said, according to the BBC

That said, given Uber's decision to not make clear exactly what it's apologizing for...if the whole thing kind of has you thinking of BP's apologetic remarks in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you're not the only one.