Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Officer, Travis Kalanick, has been forced out of President Donald Trump’s business advisory group on Thursday amid mounting pressure from activists and employees who oppose the administration’s immigration policies that resulted to a #DeleteUber campaign on Twitter.
Critics included Uber drivers, many of whom are immigrants themselves.
“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,” Kalanick, who had planned to attend a meeting of the group on Friday, said in an email to staff.
Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler later confirmed that he had left the group.
Social media campaigns had targeted Uber, urging users to delete accounts and opt for rival Lyft Inc. Uber has been emailing users who deleted their accounts to say it shares their concerns and will compensate drivers affected by the ban.
Kalanick said he spoke briefly to Trump about the immigration order “and its issues for our community” and told the president he would not join the economic council.
The CEO came under increasing pressure to leave the council after Trump issued an executive order temporarily barring people from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States.
“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,” he wrote in a note to employees.
“Families are being separated, people are stranded overseas and there’s a growing fear the US is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants,” he added.
The White House, however, said in a statement Thursday evening that did not mention Uber that Trump “understands the importance of an open dialogue with fellow business leaders to discuss how to best make our nation’s economy stronger”.