Uber appoints former BoE adviser as its UK chairwoman

First hearing in UK license case on December 11

In its latest attempt to retain the London license, Uber today appointed former Bank of England adviser Laurel Powers-Freeling as its first UK chairman, who happens to have a wealth of high-level business experience, particularly with regulatory compliance.

US-born Powers-Freeling is a graduate of Columbia University and MIT. She began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and took British citizenship in 2003.

According to the Guardian, Powers-Freeling is the current chair of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe and the senior independent director of Atom Bank. She has also held senior roles at the insurer Prudential and with US bank Morgan Stanley.

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In a statement today, 60-year-old Powers-Freeling said: “Uber is transforming how people get around and as a business it is also undergoing an important period of change. I look forward to working with the UK business to help them manage and implement that change.”

On 22 September, Transport for London (TfL) had found Uber “not fit and proper” to have its licence renewed. Following this, Uber’s northern European manager Jo Bertram had left the company.

Tom Elvidge, interim general manager of Uber in the UK, also confirmed the news when he said that Powers-Freeling will help the company ‘with the next phase of changes’ to the business.

While Uber’s licence expired on 30 September, its cars can still operate in London until the legal process is exhausted. The San Francisco-based tech firm has its first hearing in license case on December 11.

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