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These 18 CEOs Had Strong Words for President Trump’s Charlottesville Response

August 17, 2017, 5:34 PM UTC

Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville has been criticized by many CEOs, both those who have served on Trump advisory boards and those who haven’t.

After a woman was killed by a self-identified white nationalist who rammed his car into a crowd at a racially-charged rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump, in his first statement Saturday and at a press conference on Monday, said the violence was caused by “both sides.”

In total, eight CEOs left the President’s Manufacturing Council by Wednesday afternoon, at which point the President announced he was closing down both the Manufacturing Council and his Economic Strategy and Policy Forum. Since then, CEOs like Apple’s Tim Cook and others have continued to speak out against the President’s comments.

Here are the executives who had some choice words aimed at the President:

Kenneth Frazier, Merck & Co Inc.

The only African-American on Trump’s manufacturing council became the first to resign his role on that council on Monday.

In a statement released on Twitter he said: “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

Kevin Plank, Under Armour

Plank resigned the manufacturing council shortly after Trump’s comments, saying that Under Armour “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

“I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion,” Plank’s statement said.

Brian Krzanich – Intel Corp

Krzanich became the third member of Trump’s ill-fated manufacturing council to resign late on Monday. “I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence,” he said in a blog post on the company’s website. “I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does.”

Indra Nooyi, Pepsi

The Pepsi CEO tweeted to say that she was “heartbroken” over Charlottesville.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Microsoft’s CEO emailed a memo to his leadership team on Aug. 14, saying that there is no place in society for the “bias, bigotry and senseless violence” that happened in Charlottesville. Quartz obtained a copy of the email, which went on to say: “At Microsoft, we strive to seek out differences, celebrate them and invite them in. As a leader, a key part of your role is creating a culture where every person can do their best work, which requires more than tolerance for diverse perspectives.”

Doug McMillon, Walmart

In an internal memo that was later published on Walmart’s website, the CEO said: “As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.”

Tim Cook, Apple

Cook sent a note, obtained by Recode, to all Apple employees on Wednesday announcing that Apple would donate $1 million to the Southern Law Poverty Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

“Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values,” he wrote. “The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused. What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.”

Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who was on the Strategic and Policy Forum, condemned the President through a note to employees. “Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong,” he said. “The equal treatment of all people is one of our nation’s bedrock principles. There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity.”

Inge Thurlin, 3M

Thurlin resigned from Trump’s manufacturing council on Wednesday morning, saying: “I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth – in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people. After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.”

Gimmi Rometty, IBM

The IBM CEO said in a letter to employees that the President’s Strategy and Policy Forum disbanded because the group “can no longer serve the purpose for which it was formed.”

“The despicable conduct of hate groups in Charlottesville last weekend, and the violence and death that resulted from it, shows yet again that our nation needs to focus on unity, inclusion, and tolerance,” Rometty’s letter added.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Zuckerberg broke his silence on Charlottesville late on Wednesday by saying in a Facebook post that the social network had taken down any post that promotes extremism or terrorism.

“The last few days have been hard to process,” he said. “I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life. It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious. My thoughts are with the victims of hate around the world, and everyone who has the courage to stand up to it every day.”

Mary Barra, General Motors

Barra was on Trump’s manufacturing council but did not resign before it was disbanded on Wednesday. After, she posted a statement to say that the company was “about unity and inclusion.”

“Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath, require that we come together as a country and reinforce values and ideals that unite us – tolerance, inclusion and diversity – and speak against those which divide us – racism, bigotry and any politics based on ethnicity,” she added.

Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson

The J&J CEO originally publicly committed to staying on Trump’s advisory council. However, he then jumped ship after the President’s press conference on Tuesday and resigned just as Trump was disbanding the council.

“Johnson & Johnson has and always will be deeply committed to Our Credo values. And I believe, very strongly, that hatred and bigotry of any kind have no place in our society. Without distraction, we must, and we will, continue to honor our commitment to Our Credo and to creating a better, healthier and more united world. Nothing—no one—will ever get in the way of that,” he said in a statement.

Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup

Morrison was another CEO to resign from the manufacturing council just as Trump decided to ditch it. She released a statement to say: “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.”

Greg Hayes, United Technologies

Hayes was the last CEO to jump ship from the manufacturing council before it dissolved into nothing. In a statement, released minutes before Trump’s decision was announced, Hayes said: “As the events of the last week have unfolded here in the U.S., it is clear that we need to collectively stand together and denounce the politics of hate, intolerance and racism. The values that are the cornerstone of our culture: tolerance, diversity, empathy and trust, must be reaffirmed by our actions every day. ”

Don Peebles, The Peebles Corporation

The owner of the real estate company told CNBC on Wednesday that he regrets having an open mind about Donald Trump. “He did not articulate compassion for the young woman who lost her life. He talked about himself and how her mother complimented him. Because it’s all about him, not about this nation,” he said.

Andrew Liveris, Dow

Liveris originally said he planned to remain on the council but released a statement after it had been disbanded to say that it was “the right decision.”

James Kamsickas, Dana

The Dana CEO added to the chorus on Wednesday by saying that he was “deeply concerned and saddened by the horrific events” of Charlottesville. “Racism, bigotry, and violence have no place in our society. As CEO, I will continue to strongly advocate for the important issues of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion,” he added.