Updated, 8/16/17 @ 2:17 p.m. (ET): After CEOs moved to disband the White House's main council of business leaders, President Trump announced Wednesday afternoon his plans to end his executive councils entirely.
President Donald Trump's responses to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend have sparked great debate among business leaders. Since Sunday, six members of Trump's White House advisory council have stepped down.
As relations between the White House and prominent CEOs continue to grow tense, corporate executives are beginning to face pressure from employees, customers, and activists to take a stand on recent issues. Their decisions could create conflict when trying to work with the government on shaping a business agenda.
It began on Sunday when Merck & Co.'s Kenneth Frazier announced that he would leave the 28-person Manufacturing Jobs Initiative council, stating that Trump failed to quickly condemn white supremacists for deadly violence over the weekend that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others. On Monday, Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, and Under Armour's CEO, Kevin Plank, stepped down. And on Tuesday, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance of American Manufacturing, along with Richard Trumka and Thea Lee of the AFL-CIO, followed suit.
Other leaders, like Michael Dell, said they will continue to work with Trump. In a statement to Gizmodo, the tech company said Trump's press conference on Tuesday didn't change Dell's decision to remain on the manufacturing council.
This isn't the first time business leaders have decided to stop working with Trump over his political decisions. After Trump pulled the U.S out of the Paris Climate Agreement in June, Elon Musk of Tesla and Bob Iger of Disney left the White House's business advisory council.