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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s memo on London ban: ‘There is a high cost to a bad reputation’

“Going forward, it’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do.”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on a bicycle Scott Olson / Getty Images

Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is just a month into his new job and is already battling local regulators. In an email to employees, Khosrowshahi said the company would appeal London’s decision not to renew the company’s operating license.

The city’s transportation authority, Transport for London, announced it was not renewing the license because of concerns over Uber’s lack of “corporate responsibility” with regards to reporting criminal offenses that occurred during rides and the use of the greyball software to circumvent local authorities.

Uber can continue to operate while it appeals the decision.

Khosrowshahi also said the company needed to be a better partner to cities going forward.

“It’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in,” he wrote. “That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles — we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision — but rather building trust through our actions and our behavior. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.”

Here’s the full email:

Thanks Pierre, and thanks to everyone working on this issue.

Like all of you, I’m hugely disappointed in the decision by London’s Mayor and Transport for London. It 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 with local groups to increase the number of

While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don’t think we did), 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.

Going forward, it’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in. That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles—we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision—but rather building trust through our actions and our behavior. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.

Thanks for everything you’re doing to make Uber the best company it can be, and particularly to our teammates in London and across the UK.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.