Uber boss, Kalanick quits Trump advisory board

Chidi Samuel with agency report

Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of ride-sharing service Uber, Thursday stepped down from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory group after strong criticism from staff and the public.

The board is due to meet the president on Friday.

Uber is one of several technology firms concerned over the impact of the immigration ban on its workforce.

The company said it had set up a $3m legal fund to help those affected.

These may include Uber’s own drivers.

Mr Kalanick informed his employees on Thursday about his decision.

In a memo to staff  he said: “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.

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“Earlier today I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” he wrote.

Mr Kalanick who appears frustrated with how his involvement was being interpreted in the press, added: “The implicit assumption that Uber (or I) was somehow endorsing the Administration’s agenda has created a perception-reality gap between who people think we are, and who we actually are.”

The move was backed by the Independent Drivers Guild which represents Uber drivers in New York.

“This is an important show of solidarity with the immigrant drivers who helped build Uber and number over 40,000 in New York City alone,” said the group’s founder, Jim Conigliaro.

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“We are heartened that Uber has listened to the drivers and the community on this important issue that is so integral to the promise of the American dream.”