Uber’s UK head has left the ride sharing company to join electric scooter start-up Tier.
Fred Jones, who became Uber’s general manager of UK and Ireland in February, has left the role after just five months to run the UK division of German scooter business Tier as it plans to begin renting scooters for use on UK roads.
Mr Jones worked at Uber for more than five years but will begin as Tier’s UK country manager on Wednesday.
Benjamin Bell, Uber’s UK head of public policy, has also left to join Tier.
Both men will join the start-up as it prepares to launch a UK service that will allow people to rent electric scooters by the minute through its smartphone app.
The Government announced in May that it would fast track the testing of scooters on UK roads. It brought forward plans to begin trials from next year to June and expanded the number of potential regions from four local authorities to the entire country.
Mr Jones said he expects Tier to begin operating in the UK in August, adding that the business already has 1,000 scooters in the country ready for testing.
“We’re going to just have to change the way our cities work and how we move about them. We need to move away from private individual car use,” he said.
He added that he believes the company will win over local authorities thanks to its focus on eco-friendly scooters, rider safety and its avoidance of using “gig economy” workers to clean and recharge the vehicles.
Mr Jones was a key executive in Uber’s London office and was part of a handful of executives who represented the business in Westminster Magistrates Court in 2018 when it sought to renew its London licence.
He called running the UK division of Uber during the coronavirus pandemic an “exceptional time.”
“It was a crazy time to be at the helm,” he said.