Intel CEO Becomes Third Chief to Quit Trump Council After Riots – Trending Stuff

Intel Corp.’s Brian Krzanich joined Under Armour Inc.’s Kevin Plank in getting the hottest chief executives to quit President Donald Trump’s council of U.S. business leaders, as membership on the panel is now enmeshed in the nation’s explosive politics after violent riots in Virginia over the weekend.

The moves come hours after Merck & Co.’s Kenneth Frazier first resigned from the company council. Plank’s departure is a particularly sharp rebuke to Trump, following the Under Armour executive earlier this year came under fire for commenting that the president was a “actual asset” for the nation.

“I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing,” Intel’s Krzanich said in a business blog post.

Plank said in a tweeted statement that “Under Armour participates in innovation and sport, not politics,” while Merck’s Frazier said he quit “as an issue of private conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism. ” 

Trump reacted to Frazier with a few jabs, tweeting late Monday that “@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug costs while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S.”

One girl was killed and others were injured after a guy in a vehicle rammed a bunch of counter-demonstrators during a daylong melee at Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists and other hate groups had massed in town to protest the elimination of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Trump was widely criticized by U.S. lawmakers and other officials for not denouncing white supremacists in a statement on Saturday in which he said “several sides” were responsible for the violence. The president has repeatedly drawn fire for his relations with his handling of problems and white nationalist groups.

Speaking from the White House on Monday, Trump denounced white supremacists and declared racism “wicked. ”

“To anybody who acted in this weekend’s #x 201D, & violence, you’ll be held accountable; Trump said, calling for unity.

The CEO departures reveal how corporate leaders are currently walking a narrow line in working with the Trump government to help shape policy around other and taxation, immigration issues, while trying not to alienate customers in an increasingly tense atmosphere.

Plank’s pro-Trump commentary earlier this year sparked an uproar from shoppers and quite public dissent among Under Armour’s athletes, including his most-valued sneaker pitchman, basketball star Stephen Curry. The CEO in a tv interview had declared that Trump is “pro-business” and a “actual asset. ”

Following a Wall Street analyst downgraded the company, Plank took out a full-page newspaper advertisement, saying his words praising Trump “didn’t correctly reflect” his aim. He said the company opposed the president’s executive order to ban refugees from particular countries.

The president’s council has included top executives from Boeing Co.. , Dow Chemical Co.. and Johnson & Johnson. A handful of CEOs have resigned from two White House industry groups, which have met only over political controversies.

Intel CEO Becomes Third Chief to Quit Trump Council After Riots – Trending Stuff

The president hasn’t been shy about calling companies for missteps out. Following his 2016 election success Trump took aim at defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.. For what he called the high price of a aircraft, and muscled United Technologies Corp. unit Carrier into keeping a plant in Indiana after the company said it would be closed and production shifted to Mexico.  

Corporate Pushback

Trump made two CEO advisory groups early in his presidency. Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman leads one explained as a strategy and policy forum, and Dow Chemical’s Andrew Liveris organized a manufacturing initiative. Following an initial burst of action and press attention, the councils have fizzled with neither meeting since April.

Earlier this season, Elon Musk of Tesla Inc. and Walt Disney Co.. CEO Bob Iger quit the strategy and policy panel after Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris climate pact. Former Uber Technologies Inc.. CEO Travis Kalanick quit in February following Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Trump and a assortment of corporations have previously been at odds on other fronts.

The government drew criticism from a broad swath of companies within its executive order restricting immigration. More than 160 technology firms, including Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc. joined a legal brief criticizing the purchase.  Technology firms also have criticized the government’s efforts to restrict access to H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, and eliminate an Obama Administration program that would have supplied visas for foreign entrepreneurs who received startup funding.

Other members of the Trump councils, including Lockheed Martin and PepsiCo Inc.. , declined to state whether they would follow the moves of the other executives in stepping down.

Merck’s Prices

Merck has previously taken stands. In 2012, #x 2019, the organization &foundation ended funding for the Boy Scouts of America within the group’s exclusion of gays from its leadership ranks. Frazier is a Democrat, according to Pennsylvania voter records.

Intel CEO Becomes Third Chief to Quit Trump Council After Riots – Trending Stuff

Trump made U.S. medication prices a problem during the presidential campaign and after — at one point accusing drug companies of “getting away with murder. ” While his rhetoric on the topic has cooled, the Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to try to bring more competition to the market for some drugs, and rate generic drugs.

Frazier, in December, said his company has a “restrained” strategy to price increases, calling aggressive price increases a foolhardy move by the industry. In a business report published this year, Merck said it’s a “long history of making our medicines and vaccines accessible and affordable through responsible pricing practices. ”

For 2016, the list price on its own drugs rose by 9.6 percent on average while the net price, which more closely reflects what is paid by customers, rose 5.5 percent, according to the report.

Merck shares were up 0.7 percent to $62.79 at 12:02 p.m. in New York, roughly in line with a broader advance from the U.S. stock market.

Toby Cosgrove, the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, plans to remain on the policy and strategy group, said Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for the health system. She said the group hasn’t met since April, and there are no meetings.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.. CEO Lloyd Blankfein also took to Twitter Monday in response to the violence, citing former president Abraham Lincoln. “A house” wrote Blankfein, whose tweet in June expressed disapproval over Trump’s decision to ditch the Paris climate accord.

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