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You Can't Quit, Because You're Fired! Trump Disbands Manufacturing Council, Policy Forum

You Can't Quit, Because You're Fired! Trump Disbands Manufacturing Council, Policy Forum

The CEOs on President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council are from the largest of Fortune 500 companies, but the board’s turnover rate more closely resembles that of a fast food restaurant.

After eight of the more than two dozen executives left, Trump shut the initiative down altogether Wednesday in one fell tweet.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” Trump tweeted.

The New York Times earlier reported the Strategic & Policy forum was in disarray.

Today's Resignations

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) CEO Denise Morrison is the latest to drop out, following a news cycle that saw Trump say there’s “blame on both sides” for violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that included neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan.

“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,” Morrison said in a statement.

“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.”

Morrison has led Campbell Soup since August 2011 and has worked in the food business for more than 30 years, including at Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ: KHC), Nabisco, Nestle SA (ADR) (OTC: NSRGY) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP).

Morrison’s resignation came about one hour after 3M Co (NYSE: MMM) CEO Inge Thulin pulled the plug.

In a Wednesday statement on his departure from what’s formally known as the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, Thulin said the group “is no longer an effective vehicle” for the technology company to promote job growth in the U.S.

“At 3M, we will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion. I am committed to building a company that improves lives in every corner of the world,” Thulin said.

Best Of The Rest

The more than two dozen CEOs who were initially appointed to the council were tapped by Trump shortly after January inauguration with the stated purpose of making recommendations to grow the manufacturing sector.

It’s unclear what work the council has done since being convened.

Prior to Wednesday’s unraveling of the manufacturing council, six executives had resigned:

  • On June 1, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk dropped out following Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. “Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk tweeted.
  • Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) CEO Ken Frazier drew fire from Trump on Twitter after leaving the council. “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" the president tweeted.
  • When Frazier left the council, he said: “I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
  • On Aug. 14, Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UAA) CEO Kevin Plank resigned. “I love our country & company,” Plank said. “I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport.”
  • Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich left Aug. 14 and said: “I stand with others for equality and improving U.S. competitiveness. Both require improving in today’s environment.”
  • Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul quit Aug. 15, stating: “I’m resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it’s the right thing for me to do.”
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka resigned the same day as Paul. “We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism,” Trumka said.

Image: Gage Skidmore, Flickr


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