Aug 16, 2017

Rejected by CEOs, Trump abruptly shutters two business groups

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Rejected by a broad swath of top CEOs over his incendiary comments on race, President Trump on Wednesday abruptly shut down his two key groups of outside business advisers.

Why it matters: Trump's "both sides" response to the violence has made CEOs even more wary of interacting with the White House, with many of them facing pressure from employees and shareholders to distance themselves. We are witnessing the swiftest, biggest big business rebuke/revolt of the Trump presidency.

Trump's announcement came minutes after news broke that one of the groups was disbanding because of Trump's divisive comments.

  • The group, the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, is chaired by Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.
  • "Debate over the forum has become a distraction and the group has decided to disband," a top executive said as a conference call of the CEOs continued.
  • How it happened: The decision was made quickly, the executive said: "Given the comments of the last several days, no one could continue to be seen as supporting this kind of divisiveness."

Even before the group could make its official announcement, Trump tweeted: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"

Trump's tweet roughly 24 hours prior: "For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"

List of members on the Strategy & Policy Forum, via Axios' Erica Pandey:

  • Paul Atkins, Patomak Global Partners
  • Mary Barra, General Motors
  • Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic
  • Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase
  • Larry Fink, BlackRock
  • Rich Lesser, Boston Consulting Group
  • Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart
  • Jim McNerney, formerly Boeing
  • Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
  • Adebayo "Bayo" Ogunlesi, Global Infrastructure Partners
  • Ginni Rometty, IBM
  • Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone
  • Kevin Warsh, former board member at the Federal Reserve, Hoover Institute
  • Mark Weinberger, Ernst & Young
  • Jack Welch, formerly General Electric
  • Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit

And the (at the time) remaining members on the Manufacturing Council:

  • Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical Company
  • Bill Brown, Harris Corporation
  • Michael Dell, Dell Technologies
  • John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation
  • Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation
  • Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
  • Greg Hayes, United Technologies
  • Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.
  • Rich Kyle, The Timken Company
  • Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company
  • Dennis Muilenberg, Boeing
  • Michael Polk, Newell Brands
  • Mark Sutton, International Paper
  • Wendell Weeks, Corning
  • Jeff Immelt, GE

The next potential target, as noted by the NYT's Glenn Thrush on Twitter: Trump's infrastructure council.

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