Four prominent CEOs have resigned from their roles on President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council over his initial failure to condemn white supremacists in the wake of the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich (pictured above), cited the Charlottesville attack and criticized “leadership in Washington” for attacking those who disagree with them in his statement announcing his resignation from the council.
“I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does,” Krzanich said.
“My request—my plea—to everyone involved in our political system is this: set scoring political points aside and focus on what is best for the nation as a whole. The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was and what it still can and should be,” he added.
Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, did not mention Trump’s response to Charlottesville in his statement announcing his resignation, but said he was not interested in engaging in “politics.”
“I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion,” Plank said.
Tuesday morning, the CEO of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Scott Paul, announced that he would also leave the council.
I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do.
— Scott Paul (@ScottPaulAAM) August 15, 2017
His departure came just 15 minutes after Trump published a tweet bashing the CEOs who had left the council already.
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
The CEO of Merck, Kenneth Frazier, was the first to resign from the council over Trump’s Charlottesville response, issuing a statement Monday morning.
“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,” he said. “As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Trump quickly attacked Frazier for resigning by criticizing the company’s drug prices.