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How brands stood up to President Donald Trump’s panned travel ban


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

January 30, 2017 | 9 min read

President Donald Trump on Friday issued a 120 day travel ban on citizens from seven Middle Eastern countries which he promised would help protect America from radicalised Islam - the executive order which was instantly enacted caused widespread travel disruption and protests from brands and the outraged public.

Brands against Trump's travel ban

Brands against Trump's travel ban

The ban, which was widely known as a 'Muslim ban' which the administration has denied, saw travellers denied entry to the country. The decree was almost immediately challenged by two attorney generals who in a joint statement said: "Use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order."

Brands used the ensuing crisis to publicly take a swipe at Trump, while others offered tepid assurances to staff, some company's communicated their opposition to the ban better than others. Here's a round up of the most prominent actions.


Company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took to his platform to condemn the order in a lengthy post.


Company chief executive pledged free housing to people banned from staying in the US, further promoting the brand's commitment to diversity.


Logan Green, Lyft chief executive told Recode: “Throughout our history, Lyft has worked hard to create an inclusive, diverse and conscientious community where all of our drivers and passengers feel welcome and respected.

“Banning people of a particular religion from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values." The company also pledged to donate $1m to the ACLU over four years.


Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft reminded staff of his background: “As an immigrant and as a chief executive, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”


Uber founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick said the company was looking to compensate staff currently trapped in foreign lands as a result of the order.

It was not all plain sailing for the brand however, during the weekend, #DeleteUber trended on social media. It dropped surge pricing around JFK Airport while the New York Taxi Workers Alliance striked outside the airport. The company was accused of using the ban to undercut the strike.


The company recalled 100 staff to the US who would be affected by the travel ban. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google told staff: “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. "We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so." ​ It has also created a $4m humanitarian fund to assist organisations offering support to immigrants.


Nike chief executive Mark Parker condemned Trump’s executive order banning arrivals from certain Muslim countries in an internal email to staff in which he said he was “moved” by Sir Mo Farah’s “powerful statement”.


The retail giant stopped short of condemning the act, but VP of human resources Beth Galetti issued a guide for employees who could be affected by the news.


Apple chief executive Tim Cook told staff: "Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do. “I've heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.”


Company chief Jack Dorsey came out in full opposition of the ban.

As did Periscope which added proudly made in America by immigrants to its loading page.


The global coffee chain has promised to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years. Chief executive Howard Schultz said: "I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise. "We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question."

Read the full letter here.


Chris Beard, the chief of Mozilla said: "The immigration ban imposed by Friday’s executive order is overly broad and its implementation is highly disruptive to fostering a culture of innovation and economic growth."

Read more here.


Company founder Elon Musk joined those condemning the act.


Chief executive Mark Benioff called for an end to the ban.


Stewart Butterfield, chief executive of Slack posted a long Twitter threat encouraging opposition against the act.


The company issued a statement reading: "We are providing support to potentially impacted employees, all of whom are in this country lawfully.

As a company co-founded by an immigrant, we continue to support lawful immigration. We will continue to provide any impacted employees with Intel’s full support."


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