The latest in a long line of high profile figures to distance themselves from the White House, Travis Kalanick announced on Thursday that he is to step down from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council. The CEO and co-founder of Uber informed company employees by way of a memo shared yesterday – a copy of which was picked up by ABC News.
His resignation comes just days after some of the country’s leading technology companies lashed out at the recently imposed “extreme vetting” measures by Trump, barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries entry to the United States.
“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 in the memo.
Last weekend, Uber found itself under fire as its drivers apparently made the most of a union-organized one-hour taxi work stoppage at JFK International Airport. Hitting back, an announcement from the company at the time stated that peak times fare increases known as ‘surge pricing’ would not apply, suggesting that the company was simply out to assist are those in need of transportation.
Nevertheless, critics insist that the actions of Uber were akin to crossing the picket line and capitalizing on the protest, rather than showing respect for those taking part.
The message issued to Uber employees was entitled “Standing Up for What’s Right,” in which Kalanick explained why he agreed to join Trump’s economic advisory council in the first place.
“It’s the magic of living in America that people are free to disagree. But whatever your view please know that I’ve always believed in principled confrontation and just change,” he wrote.
On Sunday, he wrote directly to Uber drivers insisting that any who ran into difficulties returning legally to the United States would be provided for legal assistance by the company.
On his latest note on Thursday, he made clear his intention to fight Trump’s travel ban where necessary and continue to uphold the rights of all Uber employees.
“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,” wrote Kalanick in his latest note.