CEOs of Under Armour, Intel & Merck quit Trump's manufacturing council

Posted at 9:40 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 07:35:46-04

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits Trump's joined Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier to leave President Trump's manufacturing council, marking the third departure by a high-profile business leader in the space of a day.

Plank didn't give a clear reason for stepping down, but his announcement comes amid fierce criticism over Trump's response to violence over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council," Plank said in a statement. "I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion."

Krzanich blamed a "divided political climate" for his departure.

"I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing," Krzanich said in the blog post.

Krzanich's announcement comes hours after Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of the country's most prominent black corporate executives, quit the council over Trump's initial failure to condemn white supremacists.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy," Frazier said. "As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's statement over the weekend blaming violence "on many sides" after neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville.