Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has made the decision to quit President Donald Trump’s economic advisory group, after suffering a significant backlash received for initially agreeing to be part of the group.
In an email to employees, initially obtained by the New York Times, Kalanick announced his decision to step down as an advisor to Trump. The decision comes after Uber came under fire via the #DeleteUber campaign – due to its deemed unsatisfactory response to Trump’s immigration ban – in response to which Kalanick pledged to set up a $3m legal defence fund for affected drivers.
In the email, Kalanick wrote: “Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community. I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council,” Kalanick wrote in the email. “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”
On the other side of the fence, there is Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Musk, in a statement on Twitter, made it clear that he would be remaining part of the council – despite facing similar criticisms to Kalanick.
The Tesla boss wrote: “Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with the actions of the Administration. My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilisation, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all.”
All of this comes at a time when New York tech leaders have banded together to oppose Trump’s immigration ban. A letter sent to Trump on 30 January, signed by more than 400 New York City tech leaders, is now 60 pages long with signatures as the tech industry – for the most part – continues to let Trump know how it feels.