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Uber appoints new UK boss as London licence renewal nears

Uber appoints new UK boss as London licence renewal nears
FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc. on the day of it's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid -
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BRENDAN MCDERMID(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Uber <UBER.N> appointed a new boss for Britain and Ireland on Monday just over a month before its licence expires in London, one of its most important global markets where the regulator has previously stripped it of its right to operate.

Transport for London (TfL) rejected the Silicon Valley company’s licence renewal request in 2017 due to failings it said it found in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and driver background checks, prompting court action.

A British judge in 2018 then granted Uber a probationary 15-month licence which expires on Sept. 25.

Melinda Roylett, former head of Europe at digital payment company Square, begins her new role at Uber on Monday, replacing Tom Elvidge, who moved to co-working space company WeWork earlier this year.

“I am excited to be joining the company as we look to build out even more ways to get the UK moving, support licensed drivers and help make our cities cleaner,” she said.

Uber has introduced several new initiatives in London to assuage regulator concerns, including 24/7 telephone support, the proactive reporting of serious incidents to police and the ability to share journeys with friends and family.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by William James and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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