Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick has dramatically resigned from president Trump’s business advisory group just weeks after being invited to join amidst mounting concern from employees and campaigners over the administrations immigration policies.
In recent days Silicon Valley heads have had to wrestle with their consciences with discontent at the US administration manifesting itself on social media, with one campaign urging Uber users to delete their accounts and sign-up for rival Lyft instead, actions which briefly saw Lyft overtake Uber in Apple’s download chart.
Addressing employees on the issue Kalanick wrote: “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.
“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 U.S. is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants."
For his part Musk explained: "I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy."
A meeting of the group will go ahead today without Uber, with representatives from General Motors, JP Morgan, IBM and Wal-Mart. Walt Disney’s chief executive will not attend because of a scheduling clash.