Uber hires fmr. Dutch transit minister Neelie Kroes

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Neelie Kroes (Photo: Вени Марковски /Wikimedia Commons)Neelie Kroes (Photo: Вени Марковски /Wikimedia Commons)

Taxi service Uber appointed former Netherlands transportation minister and former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes as head of its advisory board, the company announced on Wednesday. She will advise Uber on issues like competition and help the taxi service navigate the regulations in various countries, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

As former European Commissioner of Competition and Minister of Transport in the Netherlands, Kroes seems ideally suited for this task. Kroes also has quite a bit of experience with startups and is currently participating in the Dutch initiative Startup Delta. She will be the chairman of Uber's key advisory board, which also includes former US Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood and the former head of Australia's competition authority Allan Fels.

Uber is facing problems and resistance in several countries, including in the Netherlands. Here the taxi service's offices were raided by bot the Tax Authorities and the judiciary, service UberPop was declared illegal and the company received almost half a million euros in fines for illegal taxi drivers.

Kroes plans to change this. In an interview with the British Financial Times, she stated that Uber must learn to communicate in a very different way. According to Kroes, Uber needs to realize that there are cultural differences and that not everyone is an enemy.

Kroes stepped down as European Commissioner in November 2014, which means she adhered to the 18 months cooling-off period that applies to politicians exactly. The terms of her appointment at Uber were not revealed, though according to FD advisers get shares in the company as compensation.

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