Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber, has a growing pile of issues to address at the ride-hailing company—the latest being a decision by the London transit authority to ban Uber from operating in the British capital by the end of the month. In response, Khosrowshahi penned an open letter in the Evening Standard, apologizing for what he said was “the mistakes we’ve made.”
The letter is more even-keeled than an internal note to employees that Khosrowshahi sent on Friday.
“We want to thank everyone who uses Uber for our support over the last few days,” he wrote. “It’s been amazing to hear your stories of Uber improving lives across this city—from drivers who use our app to earn a living, to riders who rely on us to get home safely after a night out.”
As we reported last week, Transport for London—the city’s regulator for subways, buses and taxis—said it won’t renew Uber’s operational license. The company has 21 days to appeal, a window in which it can still legally operate, and Khosrowshahi said in the open letter that Uber indeed plans to contest the decision.
“We will appeal this decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change,” he wrote. “As Uber’s new CEO it is my job to help Uber write its next chapter.”
Uber’s year has been roiled by one scandal after another; even after Khosrowshahi’s hiring, new criminal investigations into previous conduct by the company have emerged.
But if anything, the new CEO’s approach in the public letter here shows—at a bare minimum—he wants to address Uber’s culture from the top-down. Whether that’ll include how drivers are treated and if they should be classified as employees—an issue that remains a sticking point for the company—remains to be seen, but Khosrowshahi is trying to repent for a disastrous year.
“On behalf of everyone at Uber globally,” he wrote, “I apologize for the mistakes we’ve made.”