Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) left FWD.us, the advocacy group headed by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for immigration reform according to a report from Sarah McBride and Alina Selyukh of Reuters.
Musk was one of the executives who supported Zuckerberg when he launched the advocacy group for immigration reform last month. Many leaders in the technology industry support FWD.us including Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD).
Zuckerberg emphasized that the primary objective of FWD.us is to push bipartisan policies for the legislation of a comprehensive immigration reform and improvement of the education system in the United States.
A report from Reuters cited a comment from the spokesperson of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) that Musk does not want to discuss his reasons behind his decision to stop his support for Zuckerberg’s advocacy group for immigration reform.
Musk is popular for promoting clean energy and renewable energy technologies. Many believe that he left the FWD.us because of its advertisements for legislators who support the Keystone XL pipeline and oil drilling in Alaska.
In a statement, Kate Hansen, spokesperson for FWD.us said, “We recognize that not everyone will always agree with or be pleased by our strategy — and we’re grateful for the continued support of our dedicated founders and major contributors. FWD.us remains totally committed to supporting a bipartisan policy agenda that will boost the knowledge economy, including comprehensive immigration reform.”
FWD.us advertisements supporting the Keystone XL pipeline ignited anger from liberal and environmental groups including Sierra Club and MoveOn.org. The two organizations said they will pull ads from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for two weeks. Musk’s colleague at Paypal and founder of Yammer, David Sacks, also quit his support for FWD.us.
Accel Partners venture capitalist Jim Breyer, who co-founded FWD.us, defended the advertisements of the advocacy group. According to him, “Our advertising decisions are being made by a very smart team of political operatives who know that passing major reform will require some different and innovative tactics.”