Nonprofit group steps up pressure on PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to quit Trump’s panel
The group, Color of Change, has started a campaign -- #QuitTheCouncil – to build pressure on CEOs to quit Donald Trump’s advisory panel on manufacturing.Updated: Aug 16, 2017 09:47 IST
A nonprofit racial-justice group is stepping up pressure on PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to leave Donald Trump’s advisory panel on manufacturing as the US President loses support from several executives over his response to a violent white supremacist rally in Virginia.
The group, Color of Change, has started a campaign -- #QuitTheCouncil – to build pressure on the CEOs.
“In the wake of Trump’s tacit response to Charlottesville- a response that has been applauded on stormfront- it is reprehensible that any CEO would continue to carry water for this administration. Under pressure from advocates like Color Of Change, the CEOs Merck, Disney, Uber and Tesla have quit Trump’s Business Council due to his dangerous policies, but the CEOs of Pepsi, and IBM remain, simply taking verbal stands against the Muslim ban and Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement-- but they won’t formally quit Donald Trump’s Councils,” is said on its campaign website.
Trump sparked another political firestorm Tuesday when he doubled down on his initial response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that ended in bloodshed, saying there was “blame on both sides.”
The Republican president -- who one day ago solemnly denounced racism and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as “criminals and thugs” -- also hit out at the “alt-left” over the weekend melee.
The head of the powerful AFL-CIO union, Richard Trumka, has added his name to the list of defectors that also includes the heads of Merck Pharmaceutical, Under Armour and Intel, as well as the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
“Campbell Soup Co. CEO Denise Morrison, another Trump adviser, will be a target of the campaign as well, said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the group, which claims 1 million online members,” a Bloomberg report said.
Trump has hit out at the business leaders over their move to quit his panel. “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place,” he tweeted. “Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”
In the early days of Trump’s presidency, which began in January, most of the signs from big business were positive.
The Manhattan real estate tycoon-turned-world leader ran as a friend of the business community who pledged to enact tax cuts, streamline regulations and take other steps to boost growth in the world’s biggest economy.
But discontent first surfaced in January, when Apple chief Tim Cook and other criticized Trump’s controversial travel ban.
Then in June, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger removed themselves from White House advisory panels over Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal.
Executives are facing a tough choice on whether to stay in the camp of a president who has overall low approval ratings -- but also has both a passionate following among a majority of Republican voters and tax plans they favor.
According to the Bloomberg report, PepsiCo declined to comment on the Color of Change campaign.
With inputs from AFP
First Published: Aug 16, 2017 09:45 IST