Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is resigning from President Donal Trump’s economic advisory council, according to the company.
Kalanick announced the decision in a memo to Uber employees Thursday afternoon, explaining he wanted to distance both himself and the ride-hailing company from the anti-Muslim executive order Trump signed last Friday.
“Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda” Kalanick wrote, in a copy of the memo obtained by The Huffington Post, “but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”
Kalanick faced increased pressure from users and employees alike this week over what some saw as a meek response to Trump’s immigration ban. In the letter, he addresses some Uber employees directly, apparently immigrants themselves.
“Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s,” he said. “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.”
Last weekend, angry Uber users began a movement to #DeleteUber from their phones after the company deliberately turned off surge pricing during a taxi strike at New York’s JFK airport. The taxi drivers were striking in solidarity with the thousands of protesters gathered there to demonstrate against Trump’s immigration ban.
Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. stood by Kalanick’s decision in a statement emailed to HuffPost late Thursday. The group represents around 50,000 Uber drivers in New York City and is an affiliate of the Machinists Union.
“This is an important show of solidarity with the immigrant drivers who helped build Uber and number over 40,000 in New York City alone,” he said. “We are heartened that Uber has listened to the drivers and the community on this important issue that is so integral to the promise of the American dream.”
Credit: Huffington post