Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick has quit President Donald Trump’s Economic Advisory Council after facing intense criticism from Uber employees and the general public, it has been reported.
In an email that Kalanick sent to all Uber employees, the CEO said that he had decided to quit the council as a way of ensuring that he meets the interest of Uber employees, customers and the community at large.
‘Know that all the stories you have told me as well as what I have heard from drivers over the past few weeks have reminded me of one thing: the need to be yourself,’ he further wrote.
This recent decision by Kalanick comes at the end of a period under which the company has been facing intense criticism from the general public regarding several issues.
In the first place, the company came under fire when it was alleged that it was only interested in profiteering from the public protests against the anti-immigration policies of the new administration by giving rides to airport customers.
Thereafter, the company came under a barrage of criticism when it appeared that Kalanick, by virtue of the fact that he sits on the president’s economic advisory council, failed to strongly criticise the president’s controversial anti-immigration policies.
Criticism against the company reached fever pitch, with the #deletuber campaign on social media becoming a trending topic. It was reported that as a result of the campaign, 200,000 individuals deleted their Uber accounts in protest to the company’s perceived support for Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
Later, Uber was forced to make a public statement, saying that it does not support the ban against immigrants from particular countries.
However, it appears that there has been growing criticism against Kalanick from the Uber employees.
Last Tuesday, the company held an important general meeting in which the employees of the company are said to have piled pressure on their CEO to quit the advisory council.
Prior to the meeting, Kalanick had repeatedly stated that the best way to influence things was to directly engage with the administration rather than keeping away.
‘Our approach is to make partnerships across the world and engage with everyone in the belief that we can make a positive contribution to the world as a result of this approach,’ he said.
It has been reported that many of the concerns that the Uber employees raised during the meeting were based on the need for the CEO to quit the council.
Elsewhere, observers have been pointing out that many CEOs of tech companies are facing a dilemma, given the competing need to engage with the Trump administration directly and the pressure to denounce some of the administration’s unpopular decisions.
According to Dan O’Sullivan, a writer, all the Silicon Valley CEOs engage with the administration for the sake of advancing their business interests.
However, it appears that in the case of Uber, the need to adhere to the values of the company has led its CEO to sacrifice the desire to directly engage with the administration.