Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Tech Times | Uber CEO quits Trump's economic advisory council

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 2:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (TNS):

Bowing to growing pressure from customers and employees, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has stepped down from President Trump's economic advisory council, saying his participation had been misconstrued as an endorsement of the administration's policies.

"Earlier today, I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community," Kalanick wrote in an email to employees last Thursday. "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."

His resignation came on the eve of the first meeting of the group at the White House. Trump's business advisory council is led by Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the private equity group, Blackstone. Other members include Tesla chief Elon Musk and executives from Wal-Mart, Pepsi and Walt Disney.

Kalanick's about - face is a direct result of growing criticism of his insistence on engaging with Trump after the executive order banning refugees and others from seven Muslim-majority countries.

In recent days, the ride-hailing company was confronted by a growing number of boycotts that were taking a toll on its business.

The backlash illustrated the difficult path ahead for technology executives in working with Trump in a bitterly divisive political climate. Protests were scheduled to take place at Uber offices around the country on Thursday.

At an all-hands meeting two week ago, Kalanick told employees that Uber was working with Trump to pursue its mission of improving transportation around the globe.