Uber CEO quits Trump's business advisory group

Thu Feb 2, 2017 9:22pm EST
 
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By Heather Somerville and David Shepardson

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick quit President Donald Trump's business advisory group on Thursday amid mounting pressure from activists and employees who oppose the administration's immigration policies.

Critics included Uber drivers, many of whom are immigrants themselves.

"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, who had planned to attend a meeting of the group on Friday, said in an email to staff that was seen by Reuters.

Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler later confirmed that he had left the group.

Social media campaigns had targeted Uber, urging users to delete accounts and opt for rival Lyft Inc. Uber has been emailing users who deleted their accounts to say it shares their concerns and will compensate drivers affected by the ban.

Kalanick said he spoke briefly to Trump about the immigration order "and its issues for our community" and told the president he would not join the economic council.

The CEO came under increasing pressure to leave the council after Trump issued an executive order temporarily barring people from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States.

"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," he wrote in a note to employees. "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."   Continued...

 
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick attends the summer World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shu Zhang