Following the tragic events in Charlottesville this weekend, a string of high-profile chief executives – including Intel CEO Brian Krzanich – have decided to resign from President Trump’s advisory council, The Guardian reports.
Pharmaceutical titan Merck and sports apparel retailer Under Armour have also elected to depart Trump’s manufacturing board. Interestingly, with Intel out of the picture, Dell is now the only tech company left in the council.
The executives have cited Trump’s unfitting reaction to the tragedy as the main reason to withdraw from the council.
“Earlier today, I tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council,” Krzanich said in a heartfelt statement on the Intel blog. “I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.”
“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,” he continued. “We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values.”
The official announcement on the Intel Blog came shortly after Krzanic implored US leaders to stand united against hate speech and extremist views.
There should be no hesitation in condemning hate speech or white supremacy by name. #Intel asks all our countries leadership to do the same
— Brian Krzanich (@bkrunner) August 14, 2017
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of Trump’s actions and “take a stand against intolerance and extremisms.”
You can read his full statement below.
— Merck (@Merck) August 14, 2017
In turn, the President opted to react in poor taste, disregarding the criticism addressed in these statements and merely calling Merck’s drug prices a “RIPOFF.”
“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 said.
The last standing tech company on Trump’s council is now Dell – and from the looks of it, it has no intention to discontinue its service to the President at this point.
When asked about his view on the recent departures, a spokesperson for Dell CEO Michael Dell said that:
While we wouldn’t comment on any member’s personal decision, there’s no change in Dell engaging with the Trump administration and governments around the world to share our perspective on policy issues that affect our company, customers and employees.
This isn’t the first time Trump has divided the members of the manufacturing board with his insensitive actions.
Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk abandoned the President’s council after Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. Reproaching the President’s decision, Musk stressed how “real” global warming is and deemed the move was “not good for America or the world.”
Curiously, Musk’s decision came a day after he tweeted that he did his best to steer Trump in the opposite direction:
Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017
Similarly to when Apple’s Tim Cook and Uber’s now-resigned Travis Kalanick left the council, Musk got some flak for abdicating the battle. But perhaps this disapproval was besides the point.
The departure of the CEOs of Intel, Merck and Under Armour is not simply about doing the right thing: It is about about exposing a man who has repeatedly proven himself incapable of putting aside his ego to make the right call.