By Darrell Etherington
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has removed himself from Donald Trump’s economic advisory group, as first reported by both Recode and the New York Times, and confirmed by TechCrunch. Kalanick was set to speak with Trump tomorrow at a meeting of the President’s advisory council on business matters, which was established late last year and which also includes SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The Uber CEO faced considerable criticism for his decision to work directly with Trump, and his association with the administration was at least in part responsible for the recent #DeleteUber campaign on social media, which resulted in Uber rival Lyft surpassing Kalanick’s app in popularity for the first time.
The move is likely welcome news to both Uber users and even employees, some of whom had expressed publicly their dissatisfaction with Kalanick’s relationship to Trump. In an internal email obtained by the New York Times, Kalanick reportedly told employees that his participation in the council “was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda,” but was “unfortunately” interpreted in that way. An independent organization of Uber drivers based in NYC also said in an email to TechCrunch they were “heartened” that the Uber founder did step down after it launched a petition asking the CEO to do so early on Thursday.
In an earlier response to Trump’s executive order on immigration shared via Facebook, Kalanick expressed his intent to bring concerns regarding the nature of the order to Trump’s attention at the meeting happening Friday:
While every government has their own immigration controls, allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.’s policy since its founding. That means this ban will impact many innocent people—an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting.”