Update, Aug. 16, 1:45 p.m.:
Eight of 37 members of the Strategic and Policy Forum and Manufacturing Jobs Initiative councils had resigned this week, while 12 condemned the violence and Trump's lack of an appropriate response. Then, members of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disband the group after Trump's press conference remarks on Tuesday in which he appeared to equate torch-carrying white supremacists chanting "Jews will not replace us" and "blood and soil" (a phrase borrowed from the Nazis in 1930s Germany) to the protesters who opposed them.
"The thinking was it was important to do as a group," a member told CNBC. "As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done."
“Intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values,” the members said in a statement. “We believe debate over forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans.”
After the group disbanded, Trump tweeted: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Around the time of Trump's announcement, two additional members, Johnson & Johnson and United Technologies also stepped down. They would have been the ninth and 10th members to resign.
"We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism,” Richard Trumka and Thea Lee said in a statement.
The Strategic and Policy Forum, led by Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, included:
- Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners
- Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
- Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
- Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase
- Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
- Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
- Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Jim McNerney, Former Chairman and President/CEO, Boeing
- Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
- Adebayo "Bayo" Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
- Ginni Rometty, Chairman/President/CEO, IBM
- Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
- Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric
- Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit
The American Manufacturing Council, chaired by Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Company, included:
- William M. Brown, CEO, Harris Corporation
- Michael Dell, CEO, Dell Technologies Inc.
- John J. Ferriola, CEO, Nucor
- Jeff Fettig, CEO, Whirlpool Corporation
- Mark Fields, former CEO, Ford Motor Company (resigned in May after leaving Ford)
- Kenneth Frazier, CEO, Merck & Co. (resigned Aug. 14 as a protest to Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville)
- Alex Gorsky, CEO, Johnson & Johnson
- Gregory J. Hayes, CEO, United Technologies
- Marillyn Hewson, CEO, Lockheed Martin
- Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric Company
- Jim Kamsickas, CEO, Dana Inc.
- Klaus Kleinfeld, former CEO, Arconic (resigned in April after leaving Arconic)
- Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel (resigned Aug. 14 as a protest to Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville)
- Richard G. Kyle, CEO, Timken Company
- Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL–CIO (resigned Aug. 15 as a protest to Trump’s statements regarding Charlottesville)
- Andrew Liveris, CEO, Dow Chemical Company
- Mario Longhi, former CEO, U.S. Steel (resigned in June after retiring from U.S. Steel)
- Denise Morrison, CEO, Campbell Soup Company (resigned Aug. 16 before disbandment of the Council)
- Dennis Muilenburg, CEO, Boeing
- Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Motors (resigned in June after Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord)
- Doug Oberhelman, Executive Chairman, Caterpillar Inc.
- Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing (resigned Aug. 15)
- Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour (resigned Aug. 14)
- Michael B. Polk, CEO, Newell Brands
- Mark Sutton, CEO, International Paper
- Inge Thulin, CEO, 3M (resigned Aug. 16 before disbandment of the Council)
- Richard Trumka, President, AFL–CIO (resigned Aug 15)
- Wendell Weeks, CEO, Corning Inc.
The CEOs on President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council aren’t singing the old blues standard “I Can’t Quit You, Baby.” Their tune is more *NSYNC “Bye, Bye, Bye.”
With more turnover than a Dairy Queen in September when the kiddos head back off to school, the Trump administration has seen its share of farewells including Tesla CEO Elon Musk after POTUS pulled the nation out of the Paris climate accord and then-CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick after the immigration travel ban.
Since Trump’s inability to take the same hard line with Nazis that he takes with “radical Islamic extremism,” Trump advisers who thought they could actually advise No. 45 are either coming to the realization they just can’t or using this as an excuse to jump ship.
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier
If every time a CEO quits, an angel gets its wings, Frazier started outfitting a platoon of soaring cherubs by resigning from the President’s Manufacturing Council on Monday. Instead of condemning white supremacists with (at the very least) a harsh tweet, Trump took to the internet and blasted Frazier, the only black CEO on the Council. And he used CAPS LOCK.
"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES," Trump tweeted.
Trump’s tweets must be more than sticks and stones, because some CEOs are hesitant to follow Frazier’s lead.
"When I asked one chief executive Monday morning why he had remained publicly silent, he told me: 'Just look at what he did to Ken. I'm not sticking my head up.' Which, of course, is the reason he said I could not quote him by name,” The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote.
Then again, as King Louis XV of France is credited as saying, "Après moi, le deluge.”
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank
On Monday night, Plank, shall we say, walked the plank and left the Trump Council saying the sportswear company "engages in innovation and sports, not politics."
While a statement focusing “on inspiring and uniting through power of sport” isn’t quite the same as Frazier’s “responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” the Under Armour CEO was another block removed from the Trump Administration’s wobbly Jenga tower.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich
Krzanich was the third CEO to quit the Council within 24 hours. Head of Intel since 2013, Krzanich announced his resignation in an official blog post.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” Krzanich continued. “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.”
Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul
Paul kept his resignation short and sweet by tweeting, “I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do.”
Other CEOS have publicly praised Frazier, but so far, the Fantastic Four are the only CEOs to have stepped down from the Council, prompting more capital letters from POTUS.
"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place," Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"