Charlotte Bailey is the new UK general manager at Bird.
The 28-year-old Mancunian took up the post on 9 November 2020, after heading up Bird’s EMEA platform and global expansion team from Amsterdam.
“My vision is to have Bird scooters in every town and city across the UK,” Bailey told Zag. “We can make the UK similar to a place like Tel Aviv, where e-scooters are as common as taking an Uber. I’m super excited to be building out the team in the UK. Certainly being able to lead on our bid for the London tender is probably one of the most exciting and challenging things I’ve done in my career.”
Bailey indeed joins at a critical point for Bird in the UK. The fleet operator has had a UK team for much longer than other operators, having run a shared e-scooter programme at London’s Olympic Park for the past two years. While this was scheme was unaffected by the departure of the firm’s previous country manager (Richard Corbett, now of Voi) late last year, the DfT scooter trials are something else entirely and Bird has busy bolstering its in-country team in response.
Bailey’s responsibilities include overseeing Bird’s trials in Redditch and Canterbury, progressing a handful of other trial tenders that are still in play, and working on the London proposal.
“The content of the tender was appropriately detailed in laying out the challenges in operating in such a large and diverse city as London,” Bailey says of the TfL tender, released yesterday. “Bird has the edge in sustainability, not just in taking people out of cars, but in our whole manufacturing cycle, in how we design our vehicles and batteries. On the safety aspect, we’re working on lots of exciting products to keep not only our riders safe but also pedestrians, which will be crucial in London.”
Bailey’s role also entails liaising with local groups both in existing trial areas and in London. “Success for us is not just numbers of rides but also embraces promoting safety and ensuring we’re building strong relationships with the local communities and local stakeholders,” she says. Those local stakeholders that Bailey has already spent time with include the Metropolitan Police.
Another female leader in micromobility in the UK. Good. This sector really is pioneering in the transport and tech industries when it comes to inclusivity and diversity.
But this is no political or quota-filling appointment. This is a role that the energetic and enthusiastic Bailey was clearly made for, having previously looked after some 20,000 restaurants across the UK at Deliveroo and with a degree from the London School of Economics.
We look forward to seeing what Bird does in the UK under Bailey’s stewardship.