(ATR) The CEO of Intel, the newest worldwide Olympic sponsor leaves the American Manufacturing Council, condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s slow response to violent white supremacist protests in Virginia.
Brian Krzanich resigned Aug. 14 from the White House advisory panel that includes CEOs from two other TOP sponsors.
"I tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wrote in a statement.
"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.
"Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base."
The controversy stems from the protests last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia when violence erupted as white supremacists gathered for a "Unite the Right" protest. They were met by counter-protesters which quickly devolved into shoving matches and all-out brawls.
A car driven by a suspected sympathizer of the white supremacists rammed into the counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring several others.
While Krzanich is leaving the AMC, its chairman, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, says he will remain. But in a statement to Around the Rings, Liveris attacked the violent protests.
"I condemn the violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, and my thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones and with the people of Virginia."
In his initial response response to the violence, President Trump condemned the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence" but failed to specifically disavow the white supremacists that initiated and escalated the violence.
Trump was immediately assailed for the omission, prompting Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier to leave the American Manufacturing Council. Krzanich followed shortly with his resignation as did Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
Today, the three executives drew Twitter fire from the President.
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)August 15, 2017
Along with Liveris and Krzanich, GE chairman Jeff Immelt is the third member of the AMC from a TOP sponsor.
"GE is a proudly inclusive company with employees who represent all religions, nationalities, sexual orientations, and races. With more than 100,000 employees in the United States, it is important for GE to participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the US, therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the chairman of GE," the company says in a statement.
"GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism, and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in Charlottesville over the weekend," said the GE statement.
In his statement to ATR Liveris decried the violence and said Dow was committed to helping the U.S. economy grow.
"In Dow, there is no room for hatred, racism, or bigotry. Dow will continue to work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of the communities where it operates — including supporting policies that help create employment opportunities in manufacturing and rebuild the American workforce," says Liveris.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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