Facing intense criticism over his link to Donald Trump and his company’s reputation for doing utterly shitty things, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Thursday stepped down from the president’s economic advisory council.
“Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” Kalanick said in an email to the company. “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.”
The decision by Kalanick to leave follows a wave of protests that culminated in a decision by Uber riders to delete the app en masse. The company reportedly had to create an ad hoc system to handle the crush of requests to leave Uber. Kalanick, in his email, comes across as somewhat perturbed about the public perception of his relationship with Trump that has emerged in recent days.
“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,” he wrote.
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.
All in all, the decision marks a victory for activists who implored others to #DeleteUber. It is not, however, a good day for writers who think it’s silly to protest Uber over the ride-hailing giant’s link to Trump.
Kalanick’s full email is below.