Brands distance from Trump after D.C. riots
Chief executive officers of major U.S. companies were unanimous in finding that President Donald Trump was unfit for office and that he had incited violence, according to a survey released Wednesday. An overwhelming majority of the 40 CEOs surveyed also said he should be impeached, according to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management.
A majority of the unidentified CEOs questioned by the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute also said that they expected attacks by “domestic terrorists” in the next week and that there is a “larger conspiracy paying the hotel and travel costs of the insurrectionists,” Sonnenfeld said, releasing the results of the 18-question survey from a meeting with the CEOs Wednesday morning. The CEOs were responding to growing speculation that unrest in the U.S. and state capitals is receiving organized financial backing, he said. Despite the concern, the executives still support an outdoor ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“This week, CEOs have gone from cautious fear to the edge of horror and alarm, expecting that the nation’s capital will be under violent attack one week from today,” Sonnenfeld said in a telephone interview after the meeting. “They blame the president of the United States for that.”
Corporate leaders have been taking an increasingly hard line against Trump since his supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the election of Biden as his successor. Five people, including a police officer, died in the attack. Trump has since been locked out of most social-media platforms, business has been pulled from his companies and Trump-branded merchandise has been banned from most online stores.
The CEOs, meeting in the second session in a week, reiterated unanimously that companies should cut off donations to legislators who sided with Trump in opposing the 2020 presidential election results, but 58 per cent opposed businesses halting all political donations. A growing list of companies, including Marriott International Inc., Goldman Sachs Group, Airbnb, MasterCard Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Comcast Corp. among others, said they will stop donating to Republican members of Congress who voted to block the election results.
Most of the executives supported blocking Trump on social media, and they unanimously supported the idea of putting people identified as participants in the Capitol riots on airline no-fly lists. They also overwhelmingly agreed that U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley should resign for their role in supporting Trump’s opposition to the election results.