Bengaluru: In a major restructuring exercise, ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. has appointed Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty to take charge of the company’s Asia-Pacific rides business, the IPO-bound startup said on Wednesday. Gore-Coty will also continue in his current role, leading the rides teams across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Amit Jain, who started the rides business in India and headed Uber India’s operations before taking up the responsibility as the head of the Asia Pacific business, has furnished his resignation.
“After four great years, Amit Jain will be leaving Uber at the end of May to spend time with his family before taking the next step in his career," Uber chief operating officer Barney Harford said in a statement on Wednesday. Jain was “instrumental in growing our rides business—first in India, from launch to category leadership, and more recently, across the Asia Pacific region".
“Uber remains deeply committed to Asia Pacific region and, under Pierre’s leadership, will continue to invest in our people, products and partnerships," he added.
Uber's restructuring comes at a time when it is preparing to launch a “roadshow" to pitch its initial public offering (IPO) to prospective investors in the week to 29 April.
The Uber IPO is set for an early May debut on New York Stock Exchange. The company is expected to raise $10 billion at a $90-100 billion valuation. Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. is Uber's largest shareholder, having picked up a 16% stake in the company by investing $8 billion last year. Another Japanese firm, Toyota Motor Corp., had made a strategic investment in Uber in 2016 before pumping in $500 million in August 2018.
The restructuring signals a consolidation of businesses prior to the Uber IPO in May. It also indicates that the company looks at reducing its aggressive approach in India where it fiercely competes with homegrown rival Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd).
In its IPO filing, Uber had said, “We have been making significant investments in incentives and promotions to help drive growth in India, a country in which local competitors, particularly Ola, Swiggy and Zomato, are well capitalized and have local operating expertise."
Also, in a bid to stay competitive and ahead of its rivals, Uber has experimented with various things. After entering into the food delivery business through Uber Eats and launching cloud kitchens, or virtual restaurants, the global taxi aggregator announced early this year that it will also provide a boat service christened UberBOAT, to cover the already existing ferry routes around the seas of Mumbai.