Uber CEO quits Trump's council of business leaders before it first meeting

Uber CEO quits Trump's council of business leaders before it first meetingUber CEO Travis Kalanick has quit President Donald Trump's council of business leaders, Associated Press informs.

Kalanick wrote to his employees that he'd spoken with Trump on Thursday to "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."

His departure came on the eve of the first meeting of the group at the White House, planned for Friday.

Led by Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the private equity group Blackstone, the council has about 15 members, including the leaders of Wal-Mart, Tesla, the Cleveland Clinic and Pepsi.

The council is "designed to provide direct input to the president from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and nonpartisan manner," according to a Blackstone press release in December announcing its formation.

Other forum members said they'd keep their commitment.

Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, is planning to attend.

"He has an opportunity to talk directly to the president, and that is a good opportunity," said spokeswoman Eileen Sheil.

Sheil said the clinic employs doctors and caretakers from many countries and was directly affected by the travel ban. She said a Sudanese citizen who is a first-year resident at the Cleveland Clinic is stuck in Sudan and unable to return to work.

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk said in a statement that he'd attend. He said he and others on the council "will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy."
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