SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said he plans on staying on two advisory councils that he is a part of under the leadership of President Donald Trump. This is despite receiving intense pressure for him to step down. The fierce public outrage has surfaced due to the President’s newest controversial executive order, the immigration ban.
Elon Musk made a statement just hours after Travis Kalanick, Uber’s Chief Executive, quit Trump’s council. He went to Twitter regarding his intentions. According to him, he will express his objections with the executive order to the entire council including the President. He will also offer suggestions to the President for changes regarding the policy.
During Donald Trump’s first week as President, he signed one of his first executive orders which was to temporarily ban the country’s entire refugee program. The executive order also bars entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Furthermore, the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is restricted. Trump’s travel ban has sparked a severe backlash. It has even triggered protests not just across the country, but the entire world.
Major tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have voiced out their disapproval to the order. Their CEOs raised serious concerns especially from the fact that the executive order has a direct negative impact on their employees, businesses, and their ability to recruit talent from other countries.
Elon Musk agreed to join the President’s advisory council last December. Although he has no plans of quitting, he said that his decision to stay does not mean he blindly agrees to the Administration’s actions. He added that he has two goals. First is to accelerate the transition of the world to sustainable energy. His second goal is to help create a multi-planet civilization which will result in a better and more inspiring future to humanity as well as hundreds of thousands or millions of jobs created.
He also stated in his Twitter post that he fully understands the perspective of the people that oppose his part of Trump’s ruling. Yet, he believes now is the time to engage on critical issues and for him to serve ‘the greater good.’
Last December, Musk and Kalanick agreed to be in the President’s Strategic & Policy Forum which is an economic advisory council made of 19 members. The council also includes the CEO of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, the Chief Executive of Disney, Bob Iger, and the CEO of Wal-Mart, Doug McMillon.
Kalanick, last Thursday, opted to just drop his seat following criticisms from customers, activists, and employees for not making an action to put a stop on the immigration ban. He sent an email to his staff stating that joining the President’s group was misinterpreted since it was not meant to endorse the President. He also wrote that the executive order had hurt so many people across the globe and a lot of families were forced to be separated.
After quitting the council, Kalanick pledged in creating a defense fund worth $3 million to help all drivers that are affected by Trump’s order.