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Opinion

Uber’s Travis Kalanick Will Regret Quitting Donald Trump’s Advisory Council

By Arun Sundararajan

Arun Sundararajan headshot article

Social media gives consumer activist messages unprecedented power and reach, and digital platforms like Uber are especially susceptible to the fallout from this kind of call for a corporate boycott.

There is no question that the recent #DeleteUber campaign highlights the nuance and delicacy with which global corporations must approach their relationship with consumers. Social media gives consumer activist messages unprecedented power and reach, and digital platforms like Uber are especially susceptible to the fallout from this kind of call for a corporate boycott. But Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s recent move away from the Trump administration’s business advisory council could have consequences for years to come.

Late last month, when the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called a strike at JFK airport, Uber’s seemingly innocuous choice to stay on the sidelines triggered a massive backlash against the platform. The Taxi Alliance’s hour-long action at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 aimed to show solidarity with an ongoing protest at JFK Airport against the recent immigration ban. Uber chose to continue picking up JFK passengers during this time, even suppressing surge pricing a little later in the evening.

Read the full article as published in Fortune.

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Arun Sundararajan is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, Robert L. & Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow, and Doctoral Coordinator of IOMS-Information Systems.