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Op-Ed: Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt of CEOs Against Trump

Author: Bill George, Harvard Business School (USA), Published on: 18 August 2017

"Op-Ed: Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt of CEOs Against Trump" 18 August 2017

Forty-three CEOs of major American corporations revolted against President Trump this week, which led to the shutdown of two presidential advisory councils...[T]hese leaders may have created an unprecedented gulf between the White House and the business community...When the president refused to take the lead in speaking out against the demonstration in Charlottesville by neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacist groups, America’s CEOs decided this was morally unacceptable. The revolt was led by one of America’s leading CEOs, Merck’s Ken Frazier...Frazier had decided to resign from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, and to make a clear statement opposing “hatred, bigotry and group supremacy"...by late Monday there were further resignations...By Tuesday evening...the chair of the President’s Strategy and Policy Forum, recognized the deep unrest among his members...the entire group agreed to shut down the forum, effectively resigning en masse...This triggered Trump’s Twitter post that he was ending both councils, “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople"...Today’s CEOs...[have the] responsibility to uphold their company’s mission and values. When these values are violated...they are obliged to take a clear stand.

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