CEO of Uber Technologies Travis Kalanick quit United States President Donald Trump’s business advisory group on Thursday, following widespread opposition to the new administration’s immigration policies, Reuters reported. “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,” Kalanick said in an email to Uber employees.
“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 Uber chief said. “The executive order is hurting many people...Families are being separated, people are stranded overseas and there’s a growing fear that the US is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants.”
Campaigns on social media had targeted the taxi aggregator, with #DeleteUber trending worldwide, after the company continued to operate at the John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, on Saturday even though taxi drivers had called for a strike against Trump’s immigration order. Scores of Uber riders, many of whom are immigrants, and more than two lakh riders deleted the app.
The outrage worsened after Uber announced that it was turning off surge pricing halfway through the strike, making it appear as though it was trying to profit off the unrest and supported the president’s decision to bar immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Kalanick was scheduled to attend a meeting of the business group on Friday. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who will attend the meeting, said, “I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy.” PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi and the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase & Co, General Motors, IBM Corp and Wal-Mart Stores, among others, will also be in attendance.
A statement issued by the White House did not mention Kalanick’s resignation from the group, but said that Trump “understands the importance of an open dialogue with fellow business leaders to discuss how to best make our nation’s economy stronger”.