Intel CEO among latest to quit Trump manufacturing council

The president’s initial response to the alt-right’s violent protest led executives from Under Armour, AAM and Merck to leave the group as well.
By Jessica Davis
04:22 PM
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CEOs quit Trump manufacturing council

Four executives have left the Trump administration’s American Manufacturing Council following the president’s failure to immediately condemn the violent protests by white nationalists that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Merck Chairman and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier was the first to leave, announcing his departure in a Tweet on Monday morning.

Frazier zeroed in on the administration failing to “clearly reject expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

Trump’s televised address held Monday night that finally chided the Nazi violence, came far too late for the three other executives who left this week: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armor Founder and CEO Kevin Plank and Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul.

Calling the violence in Charlottesville abhorrent, Krzanich said he left the board as “politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base,” he wrote in a blog post.

“I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them,” Krzanich continued.

Plank left to “focus on inspiring and uniting through power of sport.”

And Paul left because it “was the right thing to do.”

Trump fired back at Frazier on Twitter, condemning the exit and again skirting the racial issue by saying now Frazier will “have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

He also dismissed all CEOs who’ve left the council and accused them of trying to win public favor by leaving.

As the numbers increased, Trump tweeted today: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"

Tesla CEO Elon Musk left all of Trump’s councils in June after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords. Former CEO of Arconic Klaus Kleinfeld, Former Ford CEO Mark Fields and Former U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi left the board in the spring after retiring from their respective companies.

In total, eight executives have left the manufacturing council. Boeing exclusively told Fox Business News that its CEO Dennis Muilenberg will remain on the council. There’s been no word from the other CEOs on whether they intend to exit, as well.

At the time of publication, 20 other executives remain on the board -- including Muilenberg and executives from Johnson & Johnson, Dell and 3M.

The council is tasked with advising the President on American manufacturing and was founded shortly after the inauguration.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com


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