Business Leaders Are Not Happy With President Trump’s Charlottesville Response
Merck CEO Ken Frazier wasn’t the only business leader alarmed by President Donald Trump’s initial decision not to condemn white nationalist groups involved in a deadly alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend.
Apple’s Tim Cook and Goldman Sachs’ Llloyd Blankfein were some other business leaders to call Trump out for his “both sides” response to the rally on Saturday. And on Monday, after Frazier announced his resignation from the president’s advisory council, Unilever CEO took to Twitter to applaud Frazier’s decision. (Frazier is one of only four black CEOs on the Fortune 500.)
These responses came before Trump gave an updated response Monday, where he did condemn racist groups, including white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. He also said “racism is evil.”
Even so, a lot of what business leaders had to say wasn’t focused on this one issue. Here’s a round-up of their responses so far:
Unilever CEO Paul Polman
Polman applauded Frazier for his “strong leadership:”
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein
Blankfein, who also said he was disappointed in Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement in June, quoted former President Abraham Lincoln.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Cook said the events in Charlottesville were a “moral issue:”
AFL-CIO CEO Richard Trumka
Trumka said the response should start with leaders:
Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi:
Nooyi took to Twitter to express how heartbroken she was over “hate and intolerance” in Charlottesville:
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban
Cuban, who also owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is no stranger to speaking out against Trump. He directed a handful of tweets at Trump this weekend over his response:
As far as advisory council members, Frazier’s decision to step down from Trump’s manufacturing council echoed those taken by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger following the U.S.’s exit from the Paris Agreement.