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Uber CEO eyes "responsible growth", seeks fresh start in Germany

[MUNICH] Uber's chief executive said on Monday that he was focused on "responsible growth" as he seeks to put an end to the take-no-prisoners culture he inherited on joining the pioneer of ride-hailing services last year.

The company was now set on "going from growth-at-all-costs to responsible growth" and its plans include making a fresh start in Germany, where it previously faced legal battles, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told a technology conference in Munich.

"Germany as a market for Uber is a market with enormous promise," he said during an on-stage interview at DLD Munich, an annual gathering for some of Europe and Silicon Valley's tech elite. "Our strategy for Germany is a total reset." Mr Khosrowshahi, who joined the San Francisco firm last August to replace co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick after he was pushed out by the company's board of directors, said Uber was now working with regulators in Germany.

The company faced battles with taxi associations and city regulators when it first entered the country, leading a German court to declare its amateur ride-hailing services illegal in 2014. It now offers rides with licensed taxi drivers in Berlin and Munich but is a small player in the country's taxi market.

Mr Khosrowshahi has pledged to make a clean break with past business practices that resulted in an endless litany of regulatory battles, driver and consumer scandals, court cases and many accusations of a toxic work culture at the company.

He has been handicapped by continued fallout from decisions taken by Mr Kalanick.


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