When Donald Trump became POTUS back in January, leaders of some of the nation’s biggest and most visible corporations — including Campbell Soup and PepsiCo — stepped up into advisory roles in hopes of helping to shape the administration’s policies. But as the situation in the White House has grown ever more tumultuous over the past seven months, an increasing number of these executives have jumped ship, not wanting their businesses to be marred by association — leading Trump to scrap the idea of CEO advisory councils altogether.
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
Trump’s tweet came just minutes after Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison announced she would cut ties with Trump’s manufacturing jobs council.
Morrison said in a statement:
Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.
Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.
High-profile business leaders who previously exited Trump’s advisory panel include Elon Musk, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and embattled (now-former) Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Following Saturday’s violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and Trump’s failure to quickly and thoroughly denounce white supremacists, the CEOs of Intel, Under Armour, and pharmaceutical company Merck also severed ties with Trump, Recode reported this morning.
After Trump’s non-response to the rally, many had taken to Twitter to press the companies with CEOs still sitting on the administration’s councils, with some calling for boycotts unless the companies swiftly severed their connections with the Trump administration:
@IndraNooyi How can u still stand with Trump? No more Pepsi for my family!— Barb (@BarbL219) August 16, 2017
@CampbellSoupCo Myself and family will not buy another Campbell's product until Denise Morrison resigns from Trump's business council.— George Howe (@momill2) August 16, 2017
1 (800) 257-8443. Here is the # for Campbell Soup. Call and ask that CEO Denise Morrison resign from Trump's CEO panel. #Charlottesville— Jonathan Walczak (@jonwalczak) August 16, 2017
This post has been updated to reflect news that Campbell CEO Denise Morrison is parting ways with Trump’s manufacturing initiative.