President Donald Trump disbanded his two business councils on Wednesday after a wave of departures from the manufacturing council and a plan to disband his strategy and policy group.
Executives started resigning from Trump’s manufacturing council on Monday after the president initially failed to explicitly denounce white nationalists who protested in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
Here are all the CEOs and leaders who decided to leave the council because of Trump’s response, along with a few that left the council prior to the weekend.
Merck CEO Ken Frazier – Monday, 8 a.m.
Merck CEO Ken Frazier was the first to leave the council following the events in Charlottesville.
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values 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 a statement on Monday. “As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Trump almost immediately fired back, turning the conversation toward drug pricing.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank – Monday night
- Getty/Brad Barket
Plank left on Monday night, even after the president came out with a more explicit statement on Charlottesville that condemned white supremacists.
“I joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believed it was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the table and represent our industry,” Plank said in a statement. “We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich – Monday night
- David Becker/Getty Images
Krzanich announced his departure from the council late Monday night. “I am not a politician,” Krzanich said in a statement. “I am an engineer who has spent most of his career working in factories that manufacture the world’s most advanced devices. Yet, it is clear even to me that nearly every issue is now politicized to the point where significant progress is impossible. Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue.”
Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing – Tuesday
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Paul left the council on Tuesday. Paul tweeted that he resigned “because it’s the right thing for me to do.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka – Tuesday evening
- Thomson Reuters
“We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism,” the organization said in a statement. “President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups.”
3M CEO Inge Thulin – Wednesday morning
Thulin announced his decision to step down from the council on Wednesday.
“I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth – in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people,” Thulin said in a statement. “After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.”
Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison – Wednesday afternoon
Morrison originally said she’d remain on the council, but changed her mind on Wednesday, citing the president’s news conference the day before.
“Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point,” Morrison said in a statement.
“Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.”
Shortly after Morrison announced her resignation, Trump tweeted that he would be disbanding the council, along with his other business council.
United Technologies Corp. CEO Greg Hayes – Wednesday afternoon
Hayes announced his decision to leave the council shortly after Trump disbanded it.
“UTC strongly supports the goals of each of these advisory committees as a way of ensuring and enhancing America’s economic growth in the decades to come,” Hayes said in a statement. “However, as the events of the last week have unfolded here in the U.S., it is clear that we need to collectively stand together and denounce the politics of hate, intolerance and racism. The values that are the cornerstone of our culture: tolerance, diversity, empathy and trust, must be reaffirmed by our actions every day.”
J&J CEO Alex Gorsky – Wednesday afternoon
- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Gorsky on Tuesday, shortly before Trump’s news conference, said he would remain on the council. Then on Wednesday he changed his mind. “The President’s most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate in the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council,” Gorsky said in a statement.
The decision had been made prior to Trump’s tweet disbanding the council.
GE Chairman Jeff Immelt – officially left Wednesday morning, statement came out in the afternoon.
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Immelt had originally said he would remain on the council, but on Wednesday morning he issued his resignation to the council. “GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend,” Immelt said in a statement that came out Wednesday afternoon.
Corning CEO Wendell Weeks — Wednesday afternoon
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After Trump’s tweet dissolving the councils, Weeks released a statement saying he condemned “hatred and racism from the white supremacists in Charlottesville” and decided to step down from the council.
“As many of you are aware, I have served as an advisor to the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative since January. Corning was asked to participate on this council to offer our deep expertise in innovation and manufacturing and advise the government on how to create jobs and strengthen the innovation and manufacturing sectors,” Weeks said in a statement. “I want to underscore that Corning’s participation was not a political statement, nor an endorsement of the Administration’s policies or positions, but instead part of our commitment to innovation, manufacturing leadership, and job creation. I believe we come up with more effective solutions when government and industry work together, and that Corning can make a positive difference by participating in the dialogue.”
“However, the events of the last few days have transformed the council’s laudable mission of job creation into a perception of political support for the Administration and its statements. This runs counter to my original intention and is inconsistent with Corning’s Values. As a result I have made the decision to step down from the council.”
Others who departed before this week.
Some other members of the council had left prior to the events in Charlottesville, largely because they were no longer in their jobs.
- Mark Fields, formerly Ford Motor Company, stepped away from the council after leaving Ford in May. Ford told Business Insider the company no longer had a representative on the manufacturing council. Klaus Kleinfeld, formerly CEO of Arconic, left the company in April. It no longer has a representative on the council. Mario Longhi, formerly US Steel, stepped away from the council after retiring on June 30. Elon Musk, Tesla, left the council in June after Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement on climate change. He tweeted at the time: “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”