US ride-hailing major Uber has appointed two new members to its Asia Pacific’s leadership team as a part of its plan to improve service quality in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, according to its latest statement today.
Charity Safford, who has more than 20 years leadership experience in telecom in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer for three markets – Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. She will be based in Ho Chi Minh City.
“The vehicle sharing model has changed the way people move in these cities, and created jobs for thousands of people here,” said Safford, adding that this is an opportunity that she does not want to miss.
Charity Safford is supported by Pascal Ly, former CEO of Credit Bureau Cambodia. Prior to joining Uber, he had advised a range of small and medium businesses on market expansion and business development.
“With government recognition and support for ride-sharing in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, Uber expects to see strong growth and city launches in 2018 in all three countries,” said Brooks Entwistle, Chief Business Officer for Asia Pacific. “Uber continues to expand its service to many other cities in these countries.”
Vietnam is one of the first countries where Uber established its presence in Asia, while Cambodia and Myanmar are the youngest markets. They are typical countries representing the fastest growing markets in the region.
Uber arrived in Vietnam in 2014 and operates both car and motorbike taxi services. Its operations in the country have not been without troubles. The firm has been running on a trial basis since early 2016, but has faced tighter regulatory controls and opposition from traditional taxi drivers.
In the third quarter of 2017, Uber Vietnam got involved in a tax evasion issue in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City’s Tax Department is still looking to collect more than VND53 billion ($2.34 million) in suspected back taxes from the firm. The department has asked five commercial banks to help retrieve the money.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Uber drivers descended upon the two companies’ offices on January 15 to protest increases to the share going to the companies for every trip.