Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg only launched his immigration reform political action group, Fwd.us, last month, but it’s already becoming controversial. On Friday Reuters and AllThingsD reported that the group, which boasted membership by some of Silicon Valley’s most recognizable entrepreneurs and investors, is losing two big names: entrepreneurs Elon Musk and David Sacks.
Reuters said that Musk departed because the group funded ads for senators vocalizing support for the oil pipeline, the Keystone pipeline, and oil drilling in Alaska. Think Progress reported last month that Fwd.us has spent a considerable amount of money on these anti-environmental ads. Various environmental groups have been protesting the ad funding.
Musk is the CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors (s TSLA), and the chairman of solar installer SolarCity (s SCTY). Sacks is the founder of Yammer, which was sold to Microsoft (s MSFT) last year. Other members of Fwd.us include Yahoo’s (s yhoo) Marissa Mayer, Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr, LinkedIn’s (s lnkd) Reid Hoffman, Dropbox’s Drew Houston and many others including Facebook alumni.
Our own Om Malik weighed in on Fwd.us last month, and took issue to its angle, not necessarily to its fossil fuel ad funding:
If Mark and others really cared deeply about immigration reform on a holistic level then the conversation would involve a whole lot of other people — members of non-engineering and non-technology corps. So, no, I don’t buy that just because an immigrant works on an algorithm make her more important. I know, because I am one. Perhaps FWD.us and Zuckerberg should start actually learning about the whole and real problem: a society disrupted in connected age.
Updated at 1:45 PM PST, on May 13, to correct that eBay’s CEO John Donahoe was not originally a member of FWD.us, and was incorrectly listed on Credo’s petition calling for tech leaders to leave the group, as well as incorrectly reported on various media sites.