Elon Musk has suffered some blowback from his decision to serve on president Trump’s Advisory Council of American business leaders. Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber was also named to the panel, which includes such other luminaries as Mary Barra of GM, Bob Iger of Disney, and Mister Warmth, former GE CEO Jack Welch, who famously counseled his minions to summarily fire 10% of all employees each year.
Kalanick, however, has withdrawn his support after some 200,000 Uber users deleted their account in protest over Uber’s decision not to support the striking cab drivers at JFK airport who were protesting Trump’s surprise immigration ban. “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,” Kalanick said in an e-mail to Uber drivers. “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that. Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s.”
Musk, on the other hand, has decided to stay the course. “Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration,” Musk said in a statement. ” My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all. I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.”
That was not enough to mollify all the Tesla faithful. There are reports that some people have cancelled their Model 3 reservation in protest, although whether that amounts to 5 people or 5,000 is not clear. Nevertheless, Musk decided to take to Twitter on Friday to further clarify his position.
Regarding the meeting at the White House: pic.twitter.com/8b1XH4oW6h
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2017
Musk certainly is the master at packing a lot into 140 characters!
As of 11 am EST, there is no news to report following the meeting on Friday. That in itself is ominous. The Mouth That Roared never misses an opportunity to cover himself with glory. If he hasn’t issued a glowing account of how “Yuge” the meeting was, perhaps it was more contentious than we know.
To date, there is no evidence that Trump listens to anyone but himself and Steve Bannon. Did Musk’s wise council and adult input have any effect on The Donald? Don’t bet the ranch on it.