Two more prominent CEOs have left President Trump's council of manufacturers following criticism of the president's tepid response to the actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA. The chief executives of Under Armour and Intel claimed that they were stepping down on Tuesday because of the current political climate.
Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, said in a statement that he was resigning because "many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them." He then went on Twitter to criticize the president's response to the events in Charlottesville:
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
Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Amour, said he was leaving to "focus on inspiring and uniting through the power of sport." Here is the statement he tweet on Tuesday.
I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport. - CEO Kevin Plank pic.twitter.com/8YvndJMjj1— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) August 15, 2017
Their resignations follow the angry departure Monday of Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck.
Frazier, who is African American, criticized Trump for not "clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy." As head of Merck, Frazier leads one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, and —along with Krzanich and Plank— was among two dozen CEOs invited by the president in January to form the American Manufacturing Council. The group has been advising the administration on ways to boost the US manufacturing sector.
On Monday morning, Frazier said he was resigning from the council as a "matter of conscience" and to take a stand against intolerance and extremism. Here is his entire statement tweeted by Merck:
August 14, 2017
Less than an hour later, instead of clarifying his condemnation of white supremacists and their actions in Virginia, Trump attacked Frazier instead:
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
While Trump's tweets can often lead to chaos on Wall Street, there was no sign Monday that Merck's stock prices were in trouble. In fact, they seemed to be doing quite well:
$MRK +1% pre-mkt. Wall St cheering CEO resignation from president's manufacturing council more than fearing Trump retaliation re drug prices— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) August 14, 2017
Merck, which is based in New Jersey, makes brand-name drugs like Gardasil, Propecia and Januvia.