Private: IBM’s CEO Reveals Why Trump’s Business Advisory Panel Was Killed

Aug 16, 2017

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who had been a member of President Donald Trump’s strategy and policy advisory group, said the panel was dissolved Wednesday after members determined that it could “no longer serve the purpose for which it was formed.”

“In the past week, we have seen and heard of public events and statements that run counter to our values as a country and a company,” she wrote in an email to International Business Machines employees that was shared with Bloomberg. “Earlier today I spoke with other members of the Forum and we agreed to disband the group.”

Despite facing some criticism in the past from employees, Rometty had been steadfast in her stance that it was better to have a seat at the table so that she could help influence policies in a way that would be beneficial for the computer giant. That changed after a number of business leaders began exiting Trump’s corporate advisory groups this week, following his remarks about violence at a white supremacist gathering and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Va.

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As those executive departures began to pile up, Rometty was among the remaining CEOs who were facing questions about their positions and whether they would also quit the policy group. An hour after reports surfaced that the forum was planning to disband, Trump announced that two panels, the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy and Policy Forum, would be abolished.

“We have always believed that dialogue is critical to progress; that is why I joined the President’s Forum earlier this year,” Rometty wrote in the email. “IBM will continue to work with all parts of the government for policies that support job growth, vocational education and global trade, as well as fair and informed policies on immigration and taxation.”

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