Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits Trump council after Charlottesville

Intel’s CEO has become the latest executive to quit one of President Trump’s business councils after the president’s reaction to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

Brian Krzanich, who last year dealt with controversy related to then-presidential candidate Trump, said in a post Monday on Intel’s blog that he had decided to leave the American Manufacturing Council.

“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 wrote. “Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”

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Last year, Krzanich reportedly was set to host a fundraiser for Trump but canceled it under pressure. Perceived support of Trump by Krzanich was somewhat confusing because Intel is loud and proud about its workplace-diversity efforts, while Trump’s campaign rhetoric included divisive attacks on Mexicans, Muslims and more. The Intel CEO then declared on Twitter that he would not endorse a presidential candidate.

More than a year later — after it took Trump two days to condemn hate groups in the wake of the death of Heather Heyer, an anti-white supremacist protester, during Saturday’s rally — Krzanich wrote in his blog post: “I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”

Krzanich’s exit came after two other executives quit the council Monday: Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.

Frazier, who is African-American, made it clear he was leaving the council because Trump was slow to condemn the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville.

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which runs counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier tweeted.

Trump may have been slow to condemn white supremacists, but he was quick to react to Frazier’s departure.

“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” the president tweeted Monday.

Later Monday, the president also expressed annoyance with continued criticism of his delayed response to the weekend’s events.

“Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied…truly bad people!” Trump tweeted.

Other executives have pulled out of Trump’s councils over different points of disagreement. Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped out of two advisory councils after Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement. In February, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had been the first to quit Trump’s business advisory council after intense backlash after Trump first announced a travel ban that applied to people from mostly Muslim-majority countries.

It’s unclear how much distancing themselves from the president will affect businesses, especially in the tech industry, which is going through cultural turmoil of its own. The turmoil includes Google’s recent firing of James Damore, the engineer whose manifesto slamming Google’s diversity push has turned him into a hero of those who abhor so-called political correctness, and for those who believe Google is too liberal and quashed his free-speech rights.

Speaking of workplace diversity, Intel is a leader in such efforts. In 2015, the Santa Clara chip company committed $300 million to make its workforce more diverse in the next five years. An Intel filing this summer showed increased security costs for Krzanich and other executives in 2016, saying they had received threats. The company would not comment on the nature or cause of the threats.

Photo: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on the set of “America’s Greatest Makers,” an Intel-backed TV show, in March 2016. (Associated Press)


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  • Rock Lobster

    Thank goodness. The last thing Silicon Valley needs is input into the President’s economic policy. Much better to sit on the outside and whine.

    • Nelrod

      You imagine this moron takes input? Hahahaha! I think it’s clear he does not. And if he does, he immediately distances himself from it…like just happened.

  • KimJongicrat

    Trump was responsible for Charlottesville about as much as the Russians were… Oh wait…

    • Scowler

      Nobody is claiming otherwise.

  • Mark M

    Better late than never

  • Captain America

    Another tweet shti show this morning.After his grudging disavowal of white supremacist violence, POTUS has spent his time this morning by:

    a) retweeting a cartoon of vehicle running over a CNN person
    b) implying that he continues to doubt that Obama was born in the US
    c) retweeting an alt-right character’s suggestion that gang violence in Chicago diminishes neo-Nazi violence
    d) retweet and delete of someone who called him a fascist.

    Then later moved onto hissies about CEOs jumping ship from his council.

    Anyone who thinks this is normal, balanced mental behavior has something wrong with themselves.