Denise Morrison of Campbell Quits Presidential Manufacturing Council

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Aug 16, 2017

Denise Morrison may have been the straw that broke the president's back.

Shortly after the CEO of Campbell Soup resigned from President Donald Trump's Manufacturing Council – at least the sixth chief executive to resign over the president's remarks equating white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them – the president announced in a tweet he was dissolving both the Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum.

"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" read Trump's tweet.

But there wasn't much left to disband. Morrison was joined Wednesday morning by Inge Thulin of 3M in quitting the manufacturing council. About the same time, members of the Strategic and Policy Forum – about a dozen powerful, mostly tech CEOs – were on a conference call deciding to quit en masse, according to one report. Trump's tweet beat them to the punch.

Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, apparently didn't get the chance to resign the Manufacturing Council before the dissolution, although there was consumer pressure on her to do so.

The defections began Monday, after Trump’s initial response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., when Kenneth Frazier, CEO of drug manufacturer Merck, resigned from the manufacturing council. Trump immediately lashed out on Twitter, criticizing Frazier and Merck for offshoring jobs and "ripoff drug prices." Before the end of the day, the CEOs of Under Armour and Intel left the group. Three more members quit Tuesday.

Presidential advisory councils always are largely ceremonial, and these two have not been particularly busy or useful, according to most observers.

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