Two more CEOs resigned on Wednesday from an advisory council to President Trump over the president’s remarks about violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Inge Thulin, 3M’s chairman of the board, president and CEO, and Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison became the tenth and eleventh business leader — and the seventh and eighth since Monday — to resign from Trump’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, following the president’s controversial remarks on neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
The most recent wave of defections followed the president’s controversial remarks equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists with anti-racist protesters.
Thulin said he joined the council to push policies that align with the company’s values and advocate for stronger investment and job growth that would leave the United States “stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people.”
“Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M vision,” Thulin said in a statement Wednesday. “After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.”
“Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville,” Morrison said in a statement.
“I believe the president should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point,” she said.
Trump caused a firestorm on Saturday when he blamed “both sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one counterprotester dead.
Trump followed up with a strong statement condemning racism as evil on Monday, but doubled down on his original remarks in a fiery press conference Tuesday.
At that press conference, Trump said both white supremacists and counterprotesters were responsible for the violence that erupted Saturday at a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. At one point, a man with alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring at least a dozen others. Two others died in a helicopter crash associated with law enforcement efforts to tamp down the violence.
Since Monday, eight business leaders have resigned from the manufacturer’s council: Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armour’s Kevin Plank, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka along with leader Thea Lee, and now Thulin and Morrison.
Trump previously lost the support of three other business leaders from his Strategy and Policy Forum: Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick quit following Trump’s travel ban, while Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger left when Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Musk was also a member of the manufacturing council. That forum disbanded on Wednesday.
Following the latest resignations and reports of the strategy and policy forum disbanding, the president tweeted he will disband both councils.
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
— This report was updated at 1:30 p.m.