Trump CEO strategy teams disband after Charlottesville-fueled exits – Government News

on Aug17

16 August 2017 | 4:00 pm

(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump said he’s disbanding two advisory groups of American business leaders, after CEOs quit this week as the president faced blowback for failing to sufficiently condemn white supremacists.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter, less than an hour after one of the groups was said to be planning to inform the White House that it would disband.

His remarks were a reversal of what he said a day before, when he tweeted that he had plenty of CEOs who wanted to be on the panels to replace those who quit, and called the CEOs who left “grandstanders.”

The executive council, which is led by Blackstone Group LP’s Stephen Schwarzman, planned to inform the White House Wednesday before making the announcement public, according to a person familiar with the matter, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the news publicly.

The strategy group is one of several the White House convened earlier this year to advise the president. Several CEOs from a manufacturing council quit this week, following blowback over Trump’s remarks about racially charged violence in Virginia on Saturday.

Pressure to leave the groups has built following a press conference Trump held in New York Tuesday where he placed partial blame for the weekend violence on demonstrators protesting a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. A woman was killed during the event after a man rammed a car into a crowd.

While more than half a dozen CEOs have quit a manufacturing CEO group, others have said they wanted to stay on the panels in order to influence White House policy.

The manufacturing council hasn’t met since February. The CEOs of Under Armour, Intel, Merck quit earlier this week. And on Wednesday, Inge Thulin, CEO of 3M left, as did Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison.

“Following yesterday’s remarks from the president, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative,” Morrison said in a statement. “I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.”

The strategy forum included James McNerney, the former CEO of Chicago’s Boeing Co. Dennis Muilenburg, the aerospace giant’s current CEO, sat on the manufacturing council, along with Doug Oberhelman, the former CEO of Caterpillar.

Earlier: CEOs’ Trump nightmare: ‘Life has become politicized’

Update, 2 p.m.— Caterpillar has released a statement.

“At Caterpillar, there is nothing more important than Our Values—at their core we embrace the diversity and inclusion of all of our people,” the statement says. “We appreciate and celebrate our differences. Our Values stand in stark contrast to the senseless acts of violence in Virginia. At Caterpillar there is no room for hatred, racism or intolerance.

For almost 100 years we have valued and championed the importance of a skilled workforce of people from all diverse backgrounds. Manufacturing is core to the success of growing the US economy, jobs and exports. Caterpillar is proud of our diverse and talented men and women working in manufacturing in the 19 states of America and around the world. It is critical for U.S. companies to continue to advocate for investment in the workforce and policies to support growth.”



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