Senior Uber executive Heywood hails departure from rides app

The executive who became the face of Uber Technologies’ series of licensing battles with London’s transport authorities is leaving the ride-hailing behemoth after four years.

Sky News has learnt that Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern Europe, is to step down from the role next month.

His departure will be a frenetic tenure punctuated by a string of rows with Transport for London, its stance on the employment status of thousands of drivers and its approach to surviving the pandemic.

Mr Heywood’s resignation was disclosed in a recent memo to colleagues, in which he said he would devote time to completing a book project.

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“I feel honoured and proud to have worked alongside every one of you as we’ve collectively risen to the many and varied challenges the world has thrown at us: electrification, Covid, the UK Supreme Court, and TfL, to name just a few,” he wrote in the note seen by Sky News.

“We’ve solved these together.”

Mr Heywood added that Uber’s ride-hailing businesses in the UK and Northern Europe were “in great shape and well-positioned for the future”.

Prior to joining Uber, Mr Heywood held senior roles at Virgin Mobile and Amazon.

Last month, Uber named Andrew Brem, a former British Airways executive, as its UK general manager.

Mr Brem will report to Mr Heywood until the latter’s departure, after which he will report to Anabel Diaz, the regional boss of its ride-hailing business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Uber recently secured a two-and-a-half year licence to operate in London, one of its most important global markets, bringing it some respite after a number of reputationally and financially damaging disputes.

The company employs approximately 70,000 drivers in the UK, serving 5m customers.

It recently unveiled plans to expand its UK passenger transport platform to include intercity rail and coach services, and access to car rentals across the country.

Uber has said it also intends to add flights and hotel bookings to the app.

The company declined to comment beyond the contents of Mr Heywood’s memo.

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