BY TONY FARINA
Less than 24 hours after Bill Yuhnke of Liberty Yellow Cab in Buffalo sent a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (see letter in Artvoice) urging him to resign from President Trump’s Business Advisory Council, Kalanick announced that he’s advised the president that he is stepping down.
Kalanick’s decision to step down amid heavy criticism comes on the eve of a meeting of the council on Friday. Kalanick had come under strong criticism after his efforts to calm public opinion over his initial decision to have Uber pick up travelers at JFK Airport in the midst of a protest strike by the N. Y. Taxi Alliance failed to ease a strong public backlash against the ride-hailing company.
In an email to employees on Thursday obtained by the New York Times, Kalanick said he had spoken to Trump about the executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and in the same conversation told the president he would leave the advisory council. Also a member of the council is Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Solar City) who has called the ban “not the best way to address the country’s challenges.”
You can read Bill Yuhnke’s full letter in Artvoice in which the Buffalo businessman joined with others in condemning the immigration order as discriminatory and damaging to drivers and their families.