Travis Kalanick has had a dramatic change of mind over his participation in Trump’s business advisory group, much to the delight of the #deleteuber campaign.
In an attempt to establish distance between the app and Donald Trump’s policy agenda, Kalanick revealed his decision through a memo to employees.
He 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.’
It is understood that Kalanick informed the President of his decision the evening before the council’s first meeting.
The council at the centre of this controversy includes the leaders of Wal-Mart, General Motors, Telsa, the Cleveland Clinic, Pepsi and Disney.
All members share a mission to ‘provide direct input to the president from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and nonpartisan manner’.
Uber ran into trouble in the US when they suspended surge pricing for journeys to New York’s JFK airport where protests were taking place against Trump’s immigration ban.
The decision was interpreted as endorsing Trump’s policy and undercutting the New York Taxi Workers Alliance who temporarily postponed all services to the airport.
In response, customers launched a #deleteuber campaign which saw 200,000 users close accounts – it seems Uber users are far more politicised than bosses anticipated.
Perhaps other industry leaders should take note: affiliation with Trump’s administration is seriously bad for business.