Uber will this week name a former Tesco executive as the head of its European delivery arm amid a frenzy of competition in the rapid grocery sector.
Sky News understands that Eve Henrikson, who spent years working for Britain’s biggest online grocer, is joining the owner of the world’s best-known ride-hailing app as regional general manager for Uber Delivery in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The last permanent occupant of the role was Stephane Ficaja, who left Uber earlier this year.
Ms Henrikson’s appointment will come amid a deluge of investment in tech companies specialising in fast urban logistics.
Deliveroo, which went public in London through a calamitous flotation earlier in 2021, has since seen its shares recover amid continued growth in consumer demand.
Meanwhile, the likes of Getir and Gorillas, which promise to deliver groceries within minutes, are raising vast sums of capital to accelerate their efforts to capture market share.
Ms Henrikson said her role would include an attempt to launch “new on-demand services and adjacencies, providing best-in-class customer experiences and delivering profitable growth”.
Uber is expanding its delivery services into areas such as groceries, retail and pharmacy products, having been one of the early entrants to the restaurant delivery space through its Uber Eats operation.
It has also launched Uber Direct, a delivery-as-a-service offering for corporate customers such as McDonald’s.
Uber said it had more than doubled gross bookings for the delivery business in the first quarter of the year.
The Uber Eats app is now available in nearly 900 cities in 14 countries across the EMEA region, and the second-largest player in the UK market, according to the company.