Uber CEO Leaving Donald Trump’s Business Advisory Council

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Following national backlash over his ties to Donald Trump, Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, has announced that he is leaving President Donald Trump’s advisory council, according to a memo he sent to employees on Thursday.

The Uber CEO faced nationwide criticism for his agreement to work closely with the Trump administration, which resulted in a massive decrease in customers, and brand loyalty.

#DeleteUber became a trending topic last week after many thought the car-sharing service had tried to profit from the protests taking place at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend. Despite Uber shutting down the rumors, thousands of customers began switching their business over to Lyft, GETT, and other car-sharing services, while many Uber drivers of Muslim faith took their service elsewhere as well.

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Any smart businessman would have made the same move Kalanick did when he sent out a memo to Uber’s staff on Thursday where he focused on the issue the company had with the ban against refugees and travel from seven Muslim countries and the implication that being on the council was a tacit endorsement of the policy.

“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,” wrote Kalanick. “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.”

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Read the full statement below.

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.

Travis

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