Hold the protests! Uber's good now! That, at least, could be the message the company hopes to convey with news that Travis Kalanick, CEO of the massive Silicon Valley ride-hailing business, is stepping down from President Trump's economic advisory council, which he joined in December along with the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“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 today obtained by the New York Times, Recode, and others. “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.”
Kalanick's move comes under pressure from a #deleteuber movement, spawned by the perception, warranted or no, that Uber had acted to break a Taxi Workers Alliance strike at JFK.
Here is the full memo I received 30 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/ctfhThqfhb— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) February 2, 2017
In the last week, Kalanick has defended his role on Trump's council as a possible bargaining position, which he's now abandoned just in the nick of time as a protests outside the company's San Francisco offices are planned for this evening and similar demonstrations in Long Island City outside Uber's New York offices are getting underway. Will those come to an instant halt as everybody downloads Uber again? We shall see.
3/ I'm going to use my position on Pres economic council to stand up for what's right - https://t.co/L6U9LOv3IX— travis kalanick (@travisk) January 29, 2017
Maybe this move does count as using his position with the President to "stand up for what's right," something which Kalanick should feel free to do whether he's on the economic advisory council or not.