Jeff Green and Jared S. Hopkins, Bloomberg, August 15, 2017

Could America’s first CEO president lose America’s CEOs?

It was a question that came to the fore again Monday when first Merck & Co.’s Kenneth Frazier, then Under Armour Inc.’s Kevin Plank and Intel Corp.’s Brian Krzanich stepped down from a White House business group set up to advise Donald Trump.

While none mentioned the president, Frazier, one of the country’s most-prominent black chief executive officers, quit the council as Trump was being assailed for failing to quickly condemn white supremacists for deadly violence at a rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. Frazier said he was acting on a “matter of personal conscience.”

Frazier and his compatriots joined the ranks of Elon Musk of Tesla Inc., Bob Iger of Walt Disney Co. and Travis Kalanick of Uber Technologies Inc. — executives who walked away from business panels Trump touted, taking the unusual steps of publicly distancing themselves from a sitting president.

Who’s next? That’s the big debate, said Davia Temin, head of the New York-based crisis-management firm Temin & Co. “This conversation is viral in boardrooms right now.” […read more]