Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from Trump’s business advisory council on Thursday after severe criticism and increasing backlash, NPR reports.
Kalanick’s announcement comes a week after Uber users boycotted the ride share service due to the CEO’s association with President Donald Trump and his controversial executive action on immigration. According to Reuters, Kalanick made the decision after activists and Uber employees spoke out in disapproval. A vast number of Uber drivers are immigrants and use the service as a means to support their families.
In an email obtained by the news outlets, Kalanick announced he would not attend Friday’s meeting and rejected Trump’s travel ban, which bars citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
“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..
The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America. … Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s,” Kalanick wrote.
Trump’s executive order, which was signed last Friday, set off global shock waves among opponents and prompted hundreds of protests. Uber users were outraged after a surge price drop was announced during a taxi driver protest outside JFK airport over the weekend. Many saw the drop as opportunistic and promptly began a “Delete Uber” campaign, urging users to join Lyft, a competitor service. Over the past week, several high-profile celebrities used their social media to advocate for the cause.
Uber notified dissatisfied customers by email to voice support for taxi drivers affected by the ban and to account for the sudden price drop during the travel ban protests.
Kalanick was one of several CEOs on Trump’s council made up of business leaders. Other expected attendees include the CEOs of General Motors, Blackstone Group LP, IBM Corp., Telsa Inc., PepsiCo Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wal-Mart and Boston Consulting Group, according to Reuters. Walt Disney’s CEO is also on the board, but will not attend Friday’s meeting.