Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quits Donald Trump’s business advisory group

Travis Kalanick

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick gave up President Donald Trump’s service advisory group on Thursday amid increasing pressure from activists and staff members who oppose the administration’s immigration policies.

Critics consisted of Uber drivers, a number of whom are immigrants themselves.

“Joining the group was not suggested to be a recommendation of the president or his agenda but sadly it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that,” Kalanick, who had planned to meet the group on Friday, said in an e-mail to personnel that was viewed by Reuters.

Uber spokesperson Chelsea Kohler later on verified that he quit the group.

Social media campaigns had targeted Uber, prompting users to delete accounts and choose rival Lyft Inc. Uber has been emailing users who removed their accounts to say it shares their concerns and will compensate drivers impacted by the travel ban.

Travis Kalanick informed he spoke briefly to Trump regarding the immigration order “and its issues for our community” and informed the president he would not sign up with the economic council.

The CEO came under mounting pressure to leave the council after Trump provided an executive order momentarily disallowing individuals from seven countries from going into the United States.

“There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration however remaining on the council was going to get in the way of that. The executive order is harming many people in communities all across America,” he wrote in a note to workers. “Families are being separated, individuals are stranded overseas and there’s a growing fear the United States is not a place that welcomes immigrants.”

The White House provided a statement on Thursday evening that did not discuss Uber that Trump “understands the importance of an open dialogue with fellow business leaders to discuss how to best make our nation’s economy stronger”.

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