On Monday Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned stating his choice to step down from Trump’s Manufacturing Council was a matter of personal conscious, his detailed statement was posted on the official Merck account.
Following Frazier’s lead, the CEOs of Under Armour, and Intel have also stepped down from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council—joining Merck in distancing themselves from the Trump administration, following Trump’s heavily criticized response to white nationalists’ rally in Charlottesville.
On late Monday, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said that he was also stepping down from President Trump’s manufacturing job council:
Plank’s company Under Armour — which makes athletic gear endorsed by players including Tom Brady of the NFL’s New England Patriots and Stephen Curry of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors— joined the council “to have an active seat at the table” for discussions on how to spur manufacturing jobs.
“I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council,” Plank said. “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.”
I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport. – CEO Kevin Plank pic.twitter.com/8YvndJMjj1
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) August 15, 2017
“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,” said the athletic company’s CEO, Kevin Plank, 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.”
While Plank referenced politics and noted he will work to “promote unity, diversity, and inclusion,” he did not directly reference the events in Virginia.
Joining CEOs Frazier and Plank, Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel was more pointed in a post on Intel website Policy@Intel in stating his decision to resign from the manufacturing council.
“I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing.” “Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”
“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,” wrote Krzanich.
“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 his decision was also spurred by the desire to bolster manufacturing in the U.S., and that politics is hampering economic progress. “I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base,” he added.
On Monday Merck CEO Ken Frazier announced his intention to step down from the council “as a matter of personal conscience.”
Frazier’s resignation would set into motion a hostile Tweet from Trump that would deflect from the events in Charlottesville. Trump tweeted that Frazier’s resignation would give him “more time to lower ripoff drug prices.”
Trump remained steadfast on lashing out at the pharmaceutical giant Frazier by unleashing more criticism on late Monday—a few hours after denouncing hate groups.
Trump faced a firestorm over the weekend for his refusal to specifically denounce the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other racist groups after their rally in Charlottesville resulted in at least three people killed and dozens more hurt.
Despite Trump’s supporters stating that his statement was sufficient on Saturday, Many on both sides of the aisle argue that Trump’s statement over the weekend was far too ambiguous.
“This egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, many sides” was considered inadequate by numerous lawmakers, including some Republicans. Political opponents of Trump labeled it a “dog whistle” for far-right and extremist supporters.
Facing the backlash after the public outcry for a more implicit response to address hate groups, Trump finally addressed reporters from the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Monday afternoon by stating “Racism is Evil.”
“And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups,” Trump said but not before speaking about the economy’s success under his leadership and later leaving the room without taking questions from reporters.
According to CNBC’s reporting, two other companies on the council (GE and Dow Chemical) are speaking out about the racist rally.
“GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism, and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in Charlottesville over the weekend,” the company told CNBC. “With more than 100,000 employees in the United States, it is important for GE to participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the U.S.; therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the chairman of GE.”
Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris told CNBC that “in Dow, there is no room for hatred, racism or bigotry. Dow will continue to work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of the communities where it operates—including supporting policies that help create employment opportunities in manufacturing and rebuild the American workforce.”
By LeNora Millen 08-15-17