Uber Vietnam confirms CEO exit, says committed to the country

The Uber app logo is seen on a mobile telephone in this October 28, 2016 photo illustration. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Illustration/File Photo

Uber‘s Vietnam-based CEO Dang Viet Dung has stepped down from his top role at the ride-hailing company three years after managing the local unit.

ictnews.vn, a specialised Vietnamese newswire for telecommunication and IT, first reported the development. Uber Vietnam has confirmed with DEALSTREETASIA that Dung is no longer with the firm.

The departure comes amid increasing challenges for Uber from both regulators and competitors, Southeast Asian unicorns Grab and Go-Jek. Meanwhile, there is increased speculation that Uber Vietnam will cease its operation.

“We would like to confirm that Uber Vietnam still operates as usual. We are very committed and invested in Vietnam,” the company said in an email interaction but not commented on the challenges when requested.

Uber Vietnam has not disclosed any details regarding the appointment of a new CEO.

Dung, a Havard Business School graduate, served a stint at Vietbridge Capital and McKinsey before he assumed the top role at Uber Vietnam.

Uber entered this Southeast Asian country in 2014 along the same time as Grab and EasyTaxi. Rocket Internet-led EasyTaxi left the Vietnamese market in 2016 due to harsh competition as well as a financial crunch of the backer.

Uber has recently faced continuous objection from Vietnamese authorities. Last month, it was fined with nearly VND67 billion ($3 million) as a result of a tax inspection,a month after the city of Da Nang banned its services as the ride-sharing company endeavoured to expand its presence in the country.

Those were just ongoing regulatory challenges for Uber since its foray, because local traditional taxi operators have kept on their lobby with the transportation management authorities to take on ride-sharing apps.

Competition is also a major stumbling block for Uber. Its largest rival, Grab has now gained a bigger market share in Vietnam, its CEO Nguyen Tuan Anh told local media recently. “At this point, we are not concerned by competitors. The market share has all been settled,” he was quoted as saying.

Indonesian player Go-Jek has also said to eye regional expansion, with Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines qpredicted to be on the list.

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