Intel And Under Armour CEOs Join Exodus From Trump's Manufacturing Council

Intel And Under Armour CEOs Join Exodus From Trump's Manufacturing Council

"Thanks @Merck Ken Frazier for strong leadership to stand up for the moral values that made this country what it is", said Unilever chief executive Paul Polman on Twitter.

So who has left the council and what were their reasons for doing so?

Intel's Brian Krzanich is the latest CEO to walk off President Trump's American Manufacturing Council advisory board, following the events of the weekend in Charlottesville, N.C. and Trump's slow response in condemning white nationalist violence.

The exodus began when Kenneth C. Frazier, the chief executive of drugmaker Merck Pharmaceuticals, left the council on Monday, saying in a statement, "America's leaders must honour our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy". Frazier cited a "personal responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism" in an announcement shared to Twitter.

At least seven companies or executives said that they would remain with the council, which was formed in January to advise Trump on manufacturing growth - a focus of the president's campaign.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and deputy chief of staff Thea Lee said Tuesday they resigned from the council. "It has no place in America".

This means that seven executives have left the council, including Elon Musk of Tesla and Bob Iger of Disney, who both left in response to Trump withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.

With the barb, Mr Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.

The demonstration in Charlottesville by hundreds of white nationalists took a deadly turn on Saturday when a auto plowed into a group of counter protesters and killed one person.

Besides the three CEOs, the AFL-CIO union, with its 12.5 million members, also said that it was pondering its future in Trump's Manufacturing Council.

According to AFP, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, a black american, was the first to quit the panel following Trump's comments.

Krzanich wrote that while he urged leaders to condemn "white supremacists and their ilk", many in Washington "seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them".

Later that day, Trump condemned "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups" in a statement.

"Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs", he said.

Back in February Krzanich visited the White House to discuss the company's existing plans to set up a $7bn manufacturing plant in Arizona to create their upcoming 7nm semiconductor design.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has been urging tech companies to diversify, said in a statement that other CEOs must stand up, speak out and take principled and fearless action.

Perhaps Mr. Plank is now having second thoughts, as I hope others who supported Mr. Trump in any way are.