In a bid to repair a fractured relationship with European regulators, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick said today his company intends to add 50,000 jobs in the region and get 400,000 cars off the road.
Such growth could give a badly needed jolt to a sluggish European economy. But to do that, he said, governments across Europe need to rethink regulations that are hampering the expansion plans of the San Francisco-based ride-sharing service.
Kalanick made his remarks today at the Digital Life Design Conference in Munich, Germany. He was making one of his biggest public appearances on stage since Uber was battered by a series of public relations nightmares late last year. Those missteps included an executive talking about campaigns to discredit journalists, questions about how Uber handles the privacy of users, and accusations that a driver in India raped a passenger.
All of these were piled on top of a spectacular number of regulatory confrontations Uber faces around the globe. Indeed, Kalanick was speaking in one of several European countries that are trying to ban Uber.
Still, in a talk that was followed by a Q&A session, Kalanick said he wanted to establish a new partnership with European cities. And he trotted out a series of stats about jobs the company has created in places like Paris, where the company also faces a series of regulatory headaches.