Uber Canada GM talks moving company forward after “difficult year”

Published: March 12, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Uber Canada has general manager (GM) as the company is navigating through its most challenging times. Indeed, it seems the problems are mounting for the largest ride-sharing firm on the market. Legal battles with drivers or rights, allegations of a poor work culture (including sexual assault), a fatality involving an Uber driverless vehicles, and more.

So, as Rob Khazzam heads up the Uber Canada realm, how is it looking from the top? Let’s not forget, the company is still not legal in many places (like Vancouver), and holds an uneasy relationship with regulators in others (Quebec nearly banned Uber in September, 2017).

Khazzam has been GM for Uber Canada since November and he will at least be happy to see the company as something on its side, the customers. However, even they are being tested after the company admitted 815,000 Canadian accounts were breached during a wider (57 million) data attack.

Toronto native Khazzam has been with Uber since 2014 and was part of the company’s expansion team in Europe and the Middle East. He helped the company reach nine new countries and 40 cities, so he knows about spreading the word and working with regulators to achieve legality. Speaking last week at the company’s new Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Khazzam said the company wants to re-focus and improve:

“It was a difficult year. We went through a really challenging period where we lost sight of where we were going,” he explained. “We had a number of executives who left the company and, to speak quite candidly, as a leader for our business in Europe at the time, I went through a period of soul-searching as well. ‘Is this really a place that I see myself continuing to work at? What values does this business have, and do I think we’re going to get back on track?’ I was like anyone else following the company in mid-2017; there were questions about whether we were going to make it through.”

“They told me that for the first time, the Canadian business needed its own leader. The market here is important and a huge opportunity for Uber, and they wanted to put a leader in who would go implement Khosrowshahi’s new vision,” Khazzam continued. “I’m a Toronto guy and while I’ve enjoyed living abroad in funky places, I was excited at the prospect of growing the business and improving customer trust here at home.”