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Uber’s CEO Launched a Charm Offensive to Win Over London

  • Judge grants Uber 15-month probationary license to operate
  • Khosrowshahi’s meticulous strategy and diplomacy pays off
Dara Khosrowshahi
Dara KhosrowshahiPhotographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London’s 45,000 Uber drivers can breathe a sigh of relief after a judge in London granted the ride-hailing company a 15-month probationary license to keep operating in the city. Dara Khosrowshahi, the company’s chief executive officer, might also have cause to celebrate.

The Tuesday ruling was a legal and public-relations victory for the newish CEO who took charge of the company last year as it was already reeling from multiple scandals and headlines of the unflattering kind. Within weeks, he was confronted with yet more bad news when London’s transit regulator said it wouldn’t renew the startup’s operating license in the city. His flight to London soon after was both a diplomatic mission and the beginning of a test to prove he was the right person to salvage the scandal-drenched business.