Walmart CEO criticizes Trump on race response

Protesters march on Broad Street late Sunday Aug. 13 2017 in Richmond Va. The group marched through the Fan District to the Lee Monument to Jackson Ward. The march was held a day after a white supremacist rally spiraled into deadly violence in Charlott

Protesters march on Broad Street late Sunday Aug. 13 2017 in Richmond Va. The group marched through the Fan District to the Lee Monument to Jackson Ward. The march was held a day after a white supremacist rally spiraled into deadly violence in Charlott

Ken Frazier, the chief executive of U.S. pharma giant Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK), announced on Monday that he was resigning from Mr Trump's American Manufacturing Council following the President's initial comments on the weekend's events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which he failed to single out for blame the white supremacists whose rally had sparked violent scenes.

Over 26,000 people have signed a petition by consumer watchdog group SumofUs, demanding CEOs on President Trump's business councils to resign from their posts advising the president.

"They're not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country", the president said at an impromptu news conference at Trump Tower in New York City.

A CEO leading the way for corporate America?

Among those staying on the council are the CEOs of several major companies that have substantial federal government contracts, including Lockheed Martin and United Technologies. Others, including IL companies Boeing and Caterpillar, were essentially silent.

Two CEOs leaving the manufacturing council is not enough. And history shows that business can be a powerful force for social progress and public decency. "As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism".

The conundrum unfolded in days and likely led to some sleepless nights for the CEOs.

Paul's exit comes amid backlash over the president's response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

It follows the resignations from the same group on Monday of Kenneth Frazier, the black chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour.

"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place", Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday.

After Trump's statement Saturday, many Republicans and Democrats criticized Trump for failing to single out white supremacists for the violence, and on Monday, the president addressed the situation with stronger language.

The manufacturing jobs council had 28 members initially, but it has shrunk since it was formed earlier this year as executives retire, are replaced, or, as with Frazier, Musk, Plank, Paul and Krzanich, resign. Leonard Lance, who represents Kenilworth, where Merck is based. Until the council's dissolution, Boeing would say only that Muilenburg planned to continue his membership, while Caterpillar remained silent.

In the aftermath of those comments, Poser downgraded Under Armour and said Plank's praise for Trump made it "nearly impossible to effectively build a cool urban lifestyle brand in the foreseeable future".

"Boeing fully supported the objective and mission of the manufacturing council, and we will continue to advocate for government policies and actions that support USA manufacturing jobs, improve America's global competitiveness, and spur economic growth and prosperity for the country", the company said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

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