As part of the widespread #DeleteUber protest that erupted on social media over the last week, more than 200,000 Uber accounts were deleted, according to a report from The New York Times. The size and scale of the protest is immense, and the mounting pressure was what led to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepping down from his position on President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council.
“Earlier today I spoke briefly with the president about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” Kalanick wrote in a statement released earlier today. “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.”
It appears Uber was facing both external and internal pressures beyond the mass deletions of its app. The New York Times says a contentious all-hands meeting on Tuesday had Kalanick grappling with serious staff grievances over the perceived relationship between Uber, its chief executive, and the Trump administration. Some employees even told Kalanick that they were suffering a personal cost similar to social stigma just from working at Uber.
The following day, a 25-page Google Docs file titled “Letters to Travis” began circulating at the company, according to The New York Times. It outlined employees’ dissatisfaction with how Kalanick had handled Uber’s relationship with Trump. Kalanick capitulated the following day and resigned from his position on Trump’s council.