LONDON — Uber is planning to hire a banker and former chief executive at Marks & Spencer Money, Laurel Powers-Freeling, to chair its UK business, according to a report from Sky News.
The move comes as Uber battles to retain its licence in London, one of its most important markets, and faces challenges on a number of other fronts in the country.
An Uber spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
In September, London transport regulator TfL refused to renew Uber’s licence to operate in the British capital, saying it is not “fit and proper” to hold one. The Californian company is appealing the decision, and will continue to operate while it does so.
It’s also appealing a decision over the legal status of its drivers in the UK, has been criticised over sexual assaults, and accused of sex discrimination.
Jo Bertram, Uber’s top executive in London, quit after the TfL decision. Tom Elvidge, general manager for London, is currently working as acting general manager for the UK.
According to Sky News’ sources, Uber is also looking to create a chair for its UK business. The “leading candidate” is reportedly Powers-Freeling, and could be announced in days.
Powers-Freeling has previously worked for McKinsey & Co and in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. She has also worked or held directorships at at Lloyds TSB, Prudential, and Marks & Spencer. According to her LinkedIn, she has also worked as UK country manager for American Express, as a senior advisor for the Bank of England, and as a non-executive director of Atom Bank.