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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. (Flickr Photo / JD Lasica)

Just days after defending his position as a member of President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is stepping away from that commitment. The decision comes in the wake of criticism from the ride-hailing company’s employees and customers.

Kalanick and Uber faced extreme backlash after Trump signed an executive order banning U.S. immigration by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Kalanick argued in a Saturday Facebook post that having a seat at Trump’s table was the best way to effect change from within.

But the hashtag #DeleteUber began trending worldwide over the weekend and customers appeared to be fleeing the service en masse.

On Thursday, Kalanick changed his tune in an email to employees that was obtained by The New York Times.

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

Update for 7:23 p.m. PT Feb. 2: Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, says he’ll raise objections to Trump’s executive order and suggest changes during the council’s meeting on Friday:

How will Trump take to those suggestions? Stay tuned …

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