Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company (CPB) , joined 3M's Inge Thulin and six other prominent executives in resigning from President Donald Trump's manufacturing council in response to Trump's equivocal reaction to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville," Morrison said in a statement. "I believe the President should have been - and still needs to be - unambiguous on that point.
"Following yesterday's remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great."
Thulin, the chairman and CEO of 3M (MMM) , also announced his resignation on Wednesday.
"Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect upon my commitment to these values," he said in a statement. "I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth - in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people. After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals. As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council. At 3M, we will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion. I am committed to building a company that improves lives in every corner of the world."
He joins Merck (MRK) CEO Kenneth Frazier, Under Armour's (UA) Kevin Plank, Intel's (INTC) Brian Krzanich, Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka in exiting the council, which is headed by Dow Chemical (DOW) CEO Andrew Liveris. Thea Lee, former deputy chief of staff of the AFL-CIO, said on Twitter she is quitting the council as well.
Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk and Disney's (DIS) Bob Iger in June dropped out of a strategic and policy forum to the president following his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. Since-ousted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit the council in February over employee backlash.
President Trump has faced fierce backlash in the wake of his response to violence over the weekend that left three people dead. White supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Trump on Tuesday delivered an improvised presser at Trump Tower, reverting to his original line of placing blame on both sides for the events in Charlottesville.
The president on Saturday declined to condemn the far-right groups at the center of the violence, instead going after actions on "many sides." On Monday he delivered more forceful remarks in Washington. "Racism is evil," he said. But on Tuesday, he was back to moral equivalence. "You had a group on one side that was bad. And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent," he said. He also noted that the white nationalist group of protesters had a permit.
Trump on Tuesday also addressed the matter of the CEOs exiting his manufacturing council, accusing them of "not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country."
The president's remarks have garnered wide condemnation from both sides of the aisle, and pressure mounts for the executives sitting on Trump's councils to cut ties.