US President Donald’s Trump’s decision to dump the Paris Climate Accord on June 1 sent executives and politicians in the US scrambling to map out a response. Many took the occasion to voice their displeasure with the President, or confirm their commitment to the environment.
The members of his Strategic and Policy Forum are in a particularly tricky spot. Remaining as one of his hand-picked business advisors could be viewed by some customers and investors as tacit agreement with the administration’s policies. Leaving essentially shuts you out of the White House decision-making process. Here’s who is staying and who is going, so far.
Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO, SpaceX and Tesla
Musk justified his participation in the council as a chance to lobby Trump to take action on climate and renewable energy. Judging by the June 1 announcement, it wasn’t enough. Musk was the last Silicon Valley technology executive on the Strategic and Policy Forum after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left earlier this year.
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Soon after Musk’s announcement, Iger followed suit.
The decision could have real business ramifications for Iger—Trump fans pledged to #BoycottDisney on Twitter.
Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder, Uber Technologies (Quit already).
Kalanick used Trump’s Paris announcement to remind everyone he had already left, and that yes, he does care about climate change.
Kalanick quit Feb. 2, after the president’s immigration executive order that was dubbed a “Muslim ban,” under heavy pressure from Uber customers. “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that,” he said at the time, according to The Guardian.
A few CEOs said they were sticking with the Trump administration.
Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co
“I absolutely disagree with the Administration on this issue, but we have a responsibility to engage our elected officials to work constructively and advocate for policies that improve people’s lives and protect our environment.”—statement via a spokesperson.
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
“There has been no change. He remains on the advisory group at this time.”—Cleveland Clinic spokesperson
Mary Barra, chairman and CEO, General Motors
“Mary Barra’s participation on the President’s Strategy and Policy Forum provides GM a seat at an important table to contribute to a constructive dialogue about key policy issues. The Forum continues to provide an opportunity to work with the administration and other corporate leaders on policies that support a strong and competitive economy and automotive industry.”—General Motors spokesperson
Rich Lesser, CEO, Boston Consulting Group
“Our participation in the forum provides an opportunity and a responsibility to engage directly with the President on critical issues important to the United States and our world. We believe that it is very important that the administration receives a range of views and robustly developed perspectives. We currently expect that Rich will continue to be involved as an external advisor through the Forum.”—Published statement on Trump’s decision.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO, Blackstone
Schwarzman will remain, said one person briefed on his plans.
Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart
“We feel it is important to engage with the advisory committee and that’s why Doug will continue to be involved. We see the advisory board as an opportunity to work with a well-respected group of business leaders to positively influence our country.” —Walmart spokesperson.
“Disappointed in today’s news about the Paris Agreement. We think it’s important for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m proud that Walmart has led on renewable energy and emission reductions for more than a decade, and that we’re continuing to lead through Project Gigaton. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our business, and the environment.” — Doug McMillion on Facebook
A few side-stepped the issue.
Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
“No comment.”—Global Infrastructure Partners spokesperson
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
“The Paris Agreement was designed as a framework to help protect our planet while also spurring innovation and economic growth in participating countries. While we are disappointed with the announcement, we hope there is a way for the accord to move forward with the U.S. at the table.
PepsiCo’s longstanding commitment to addressing climate change will not change. We have a science-based goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by at least 20% by 2030, and we will continue taking action to deliver on this goal.”—PepsiCo spokesperson
Quartz has reached out to these executives and will update with any response.
Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO at General Electric
Paul Atkins, CEO (former SEC commissioner), Patomak Global Partners
Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO, EY
Kevin Warsh, visiting fellow and former board member at the Federal Reserve, Hoover Institute
Ginni Rometty, president, and CEO, IBM
Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Jim McNerney, former Boeing chairman, president and CEO
Daniel Yergin, vice chairman, IHS Markit