Corporate America is parting with its CEO president — carefully.
Four years after Donald Trump swept into the White House, cowing executives and shaking markets with tweet storms and tantrums, corporations that applauded when he cut taxes and red tape are struggling to come to grips with the havoc that's now followed.
After Trump incited a mob to storm the Capitol, prominent business figures swiftly condemned the violence — without mentioning the president by name. Only one major business group, the National Association of Manufacturers, singled him out.
Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s Homemade blasted Trump in an eight-part tweet, summing it up with a call for him to resign or for the government to remove him. But most of the condemnation was more generically focused on “elected officials” for their role in perpetuating the position that the election was fraudulent and encouraging the anger. Like the powerful, evil wizard Voldemort in a Harry Potter book, Trump was the protagonist who was not named. “Today marks a sad and shameful chapter in our nation’s history,” Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook said in a Wednesday tweet. ‘Those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account.”
The CEOs of International Business Machines, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Dell, Cisco Systems, United Parcel Service, and General Motors made similar statements forcefully condemning the events without mentioning any politicians by name.
The heads of Wall Street’s biggest firms, from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Blackstone Group to Goldman Sachs Group and BlackRock, also called for an end to the violence. With less than two weeks left before Trump leaves office, it’s probably too late for companies to speak out directly against him, said Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin and Co.