Big Company CFOs Call Trump’s Management Style ‘Volatile,’ ‘Terrible’ and ‘Clueless’

Jun 23, 2017

What the President of the United States does can have lasting effects on multinational companies.

That's why chief financial officers watch the White House and Capitol Hill so closely. And what they see in the Oval Office is far from a well-oiled machine.

CNBC surveyed some 39 CFOs from companies including Cisco, Clorox, Constellation Brands, AT&T, Facebook, Ford, and PepsiCo. And they asked those executives to describe President Donald Trump's management style in one word.

Here are the results that they received:

  • Antagonistic
  • Arrogant
  • Authoritarian
  • Autocratic
  • Business-style
  • Chaos
  • Chaotic (4 CFOs gave this response)
  • Clueless
  • Confusing
  • Dictatorial
  • Directive
  • Disjointed
  • Disruptive
  • Divisive
  • Erratic (2 CFOs)
  • Fluid
  • Hubristic
  • Incompetent
  • Narcissistic
  • Obnoxious
  • Reactive
  • Reckless (2 CFOs)
  • Self-absorbed
  • Terrible
  • There are no words
  • Unconventional
  • Unpredictable (2 CFOs)
  • Volatile

It's hardly the first time Trump's White House has been called unpredictable or chaotic. But the results do highlight a difficulty that has plagued the top brass at companies since the elections: How do they react to such a reactive president?

Many have already delayed financial decisions such as repatriating cash or spending on research and development, as they wait for more concrete direction from Wall Street regarding tax cuts.

Even more are hoping that the president ends his Twitter habits.

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