Hailo, the London-based taxi hailing app, is due to get its third chief executive in as many months as it battles the rise of Uber. Andrew Pinnington, former chief operating officer at Carphone Warehouse, is the latest to be appointed to the role and replaces Tom Barr.
Tom Barr was a former executive at Starbucks, who took over when Hailo’s co-founder Jay Bregman stepped down in October following their decision to pull out of North America.Mr Barr is reported to have found it increasingly difficult to juggle running the London-based company with his responsibilities to his young family.
Hailo had been tipped as one of the most promising start-up company in Europe, working with licensed black cabs to produce a hailing service. Unlike Uber, it didn’t act as a middle man between customers and private drivers, and so wasn’t seen as undercutting licensed traditional cab companies.
Founded by three executives from a technical background and three black cab drivers, Hailo had attracted investment from top-tier venture capitalists such as Atomico, Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners. It has struggled however to keep up with a highly aggressive pricing war for customers with competitors such as Uber and Lyft.
A move to open its service to private drivers has been met with opposition by black cab drivers in London.
Mr Pinnington is the first British chief executive for the company and his presence suggests a renewed focus on European markets. Even with the pull out from North America, the company’s sales in the last quarter for 2014 are reportedly its strongest yet.