Doanld Trump blasts CEOs who quit advisory panels as 'grandstanders'

Ivan Schwartz
August 19, 2017

Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk, a member of both advisory groups, earlier resigned in protest after the president said he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

Former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick left the President's business advisory council in February amid pressure from his company over the Trump administration's immigration policies.

Six business leaders have now resigned from Trump's manufacturing council since the weekend. ET "Thank you all!"

Likewise, Under Armour's Plank-who once called President Trump "a real asset to this country"-announced his resignation in a statement over Twitter on Monday evening". Trump hoped the two would help advise him on jobs and the economy.

It follows the resignations from the same group on Monday of Kenneth Frazier, the black chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour. His move came after Trump on Saturday blamed "many sides" for violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc: "Representing a company with the largest and one of the most diverse groups of associates in the USA, and an even more diverse customer base of tens of millions of customers, we believe we should stay engaged to try to influence decisions in a positive way and help bring people together", Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said. He blasted Frazier less than an hour after the CEO quit the council.

The words and actions of the CEOs of billion-dollar public companies stung the President deeply.

He then signaled that he believes including that trio in the first place was a mistake: "Grandstanders should not have gone on".

It was a bold declaration.

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-On Tuesday afternoon, Trump gave a news conference inside Trump Tower. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced via a blog post that he has abandoned the council.

The story behind the scenes was complicated. If you look at some of those people that you're talking about, they're outside of the country. "They came charging, clubs in hand, swinging clubs".

Mr Liveris was in January appointed head of the council - created to generate manufacturing jobs in the United States - and has been a visible presence in the White House. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Never one to shy away from a response, Trump tweeted that Frazier would now have "more time to lower rip off drug prices".

"The President and we are disbanding the Forum", the statement read.

-1:30 p.m.: Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson releases a statement about why he resigned. 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".

Mr Musk has also left the manufacturing council.

Plank said: "We are saddened by #Charlottesville".

The exec continued, "I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served but I have chose to step down from the council". He called Trump's statements from Tuesday "deeply troubling".

Other reports by GizPress

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