Popular ride-hailing app Uber lost over 200,000 user accounts due to the recent politically-motivated #DeleteUber campaign, according to The New York Times.
The movement was spurred by CEO Travis Kalanick’s seat on President Trump’s economic advisory council and what the public perceived as his support for Trump’s administration, which is under for fire for an executive order that bans entry to the U.S. for citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries. Additionally, Kalanick and Uber were criticized for continuing to serve New York’s JFK airport during a reported taxi strike.
On the other side of the coin, competitor Lyft — which came out forcefully against Trump’s order — saw its iOS downloads surpass Uber for the first time ever on January 29th.
Following the impact of the social media campaign and significant internal dissent from employees, who circulated a 25-page letter to their boss in protest, Kalanick stepped down from his post on the council on February 2nd.
Kalanick stated in a memo to staff announcing his departure from the 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.”
Later in the letter he added, “We will fight for the rights of immigrants in our communities so that each of us can be who we are with optimism and hope for the future.”
So far, Uber has taken action by pledging to set up a $3 million USD legal defense fund for affected drivers.