Vanessa Fuhrmans, The Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017

President Donald Trump’s response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., has sparked a new round of soul-searching in U.S. corporate boardrooms over whether they should keep working closely with the White House.

On Tuesday, the number of members who have withdrawn from a White House advisory council grew to five, and executives including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Doug McMillon criticized the president’s initial unwillingness to specifically denounce the racist hate groups that rallied in Charlottesville over the weekend.

The fallout is testing already-tense relations between the White House and corporate executives, many of whom face new pressures from employees, consumers and activists to take stands on social and political issues. At times, those issues have put them in direct opposition with a president whose pro-business agenda they are also seeking to shape.

“This is one of the toughest times for the consciences of corporate boards and corporate CEOs,” said Davia Temin, head of Temin & Co., a reputation and crisis-management consultancy. Ms. Temin said she expects more leaders to resign their advisory posts. […read more]