Tech Abandons Trump’s Advisory Councils
Corporate support for POTUS drops further.
The headlines have been raging for a few days now concerning various individuals and corporations who are turning their backs on the president, one by one. The entire Arts and Humanities Council resigned with an epic shade-toss of a letter (hint: the first letter of each paragraph spells out RESIST, as if we could expect anything less brilliant from artists), and the Strategic and Policy Forum and the American Manufacturing Council lost so many CEOs that the president decided to break up with them first by disbanding both.
That’s all well and good, based on the recent remarks from the White House concerning racial and political tension. But it also begs a very important question: what were these companies doing on Trump’s council in the first place?
Minimize the impact
It’s easy to associate their participation in his council with support or compliance with his rhetoric, something that a few corporations have blatantly said is unfair. Although there was very little question as to where the president stood on a number of hot button issues, at the end of the day, corporations do have a strong connection to the political climate. Perhaps these individual companies were able to foresee the dumpster fire ahead, and hoped to minimize the impact it had on things like the technology sector.
Earlier this year, for example, Silicon Valley was openly vocal about the immigration ban and the impact that would have on technology as a whole. With more than 37% of tech employees in the US coming from abroad, major names in various segments of the tech industry spoke out against the ban and vowed to support their employees. Their efforts, while not wholly responsible for reversing much of the court-determined outcome, certainly didn’t hurt.
Oliver Hahl from Fortune magazine has a different stance, one that shows Trump as a character whom many companies may not have agreed with, but recognized as someone who was certainly resonating with a significant portion of the population. Hitching themselves to his rising political star might have proven beneficial, but the swift exit from these councils has now shown that some leaders just aren’t meant to be followed.