IT&Software

CEOs of Under Armour, Intel & Merck quit Trump's manufacturing council

CEOs of Under Armour, Intel & Merck quit Trump's manufacturing council

In the statement, Kenneth C. Frazier, one of the few African American CEOs in the Fortune 500, said "I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism" and touted the power of diversity.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal", Frazier said in the statement.

Frazier and his compatriots joined the ranks of Elon Musk of Tesla, Bob Iger of Walt Disney, and Travis Kalanick of Uber Technologies - executives who walked away from business panels Trump touted, taking the unusual steps of publicly distancing themselves from a sitting president.

President Trump's American Manufacturing Council originally included the chief executives of more than two dozen top USA companies, as well as leaders of industry groups and labor unions. Curiously, according to the media monitoring service TVEyes, of the three major cable news morning shows, only Morning Joe had reported on the news prior to Trump's Tweet.

Plank was the second CEO to resign from the council on Monday, but did not directly blame President Donald Trump's response to the rally for his decision.

Plank, who issued his resignation Monday evening, came under fire earlier this year from Under Armour brand ambassadors, including Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, for comments the CEO made about Trump being a pro-business asset in the White House.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier cited the president's failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place", he tweeted.

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So who's left on the manufacturing council?

General Electric Corp. said it was a "proudly inclusive company" that has "no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism".

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he couldn't "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council. But it added that chairman Jeff Immelt would stay on the council because it was important for GE to "participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the U.S".

Campbell Soup Co. said its chief executive, Denise Morrison, would remain on the council as well.

Trump, though, has the loudest voice on the political landscape, said Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and contributing editor at the National Review and The Atlantic.

"The AFL-CIO has unequivocally denounced the actions of bigoted domestic terrorists in Charlottesville and called on the president to do the same", Trumka said in a statement.

Four business leaders had already walked away from Trump's manufacturing council following the president's reaction to the protests in Charlottesville. On Monday, Trumka said the union was "assessing our role" on the council, which he said "has yet to hold any real meeting".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the USA withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.


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