Uber's Travis Kalanick Steps Down From Trump's Advisory Board

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in September 2014 appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.  (Steve Jennings/Getty Images)

Facing a backlash from consumers,  Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick has stepped down from President Trump's economic advisory council.

In an email sent today to employees of the San Francisco-based company, Kalanick said, "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."

Despite coming out against Trump's executive order temporarily banning all refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries, Uber faced a consumer backlash over the weekend. The ride-hailing company decided to suspend surge pricing at JFK Airport during a taxi strike in protest of the executive order. Angry consumers quickly helped spread the #DeleteUber hashtag. And co-founder Kalanick also came under attack for participating in Trump's economic panel.

"There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration, but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that," Kalanick wrote to employees. "The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America."

Here is a copy of the email obtained by KQED:

Sponsored

Dear Team,

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. 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.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this and mapping it to our values. There are a couple that are particularly relevant:

Inside Out - The implicit assumption that Uber (or I) was somehow endorsing the Administration’s agenda has created a perception-reality gap between who people think we are, and who we actually are.

Just Change - We must believe that the actions we take ultimately move the ball forward. There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that. The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America. Families are being separated, people are stranded overseas and there’s a growing fear the U.S. is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants.

Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s. I am incredibly proud to work directly with people like Thuan and Emil, both of whom were refugees who came here to build a better life for themselves. I know it has been a tough week for many of you and your families, as well as many thousands of drivers whose stories are heartfelt and heart-wrenching.

Please know, your questions and stories on Tuesday, along with what I heard from drivers, have kept me resilient and reminded me of one of our most essential cultural values, Be Yourself. We will fight for the rights of immigrants in our communities so that each of us can be who we are with optimism and hope for the future.

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