Trump’s C.E.O. Advisory Councils which includes Nigeria’s Adebayo Ogunlesi disbanded on wednesday following the president’s controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, “rather than put pressure” on executives:
“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” — Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
The quick sequence began late Wednesday morning when Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group and one of Mr. Trump’s closest confidants in the business community, organized a conference call for members of the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
On the call, the chief executives of some of the largest companies in the country debated how to proceed.
After a discussion among a dozen prominent C.E.O.s, the decision was made to abandon the group altogether, said people with knowledge of details of the call.
Adebayo Ogunlesi was a member of the Strategic and Policy Forum, one of the two disbanded by the unpredictable president. The other group was the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council.
Adebayo Ogunlesi, heads Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies. He was the only African on the panel.
Before Trump’s tweeted dissolution, that members of Adebayo Ogunlesi’s panel were debating dissolving the body entirely as Trump wallowed deeper into bigotry quagmire. But Trump preempted their move.
Trump had earned rebuke and isolation from business leaders following his remarks that failed to place blame on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia on the appropriate groups. Instead, he blamed all the sides.
The leaders of three companies — Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Brian Krzanich of Intel — were the first to resign from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council.
They resigned on Monday because Mr. Trump was slow to condemn the white supremacists during the weekend and blamed “many sides” for the violence.
When Trump moderated his tone on Monday, he did not assuage some of the CEOs working with him.
Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, an organization backed by the steel industry and the United Steelworkers resigned. He was followed on Tuesday by Richard Trumka and Thea Lee, the president and deputy chief of staff for the union group A.F.L.-C.I.O. The latter’s resignation followed Trump’s reversed position at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York.
Adebayo Ogunlesi’s Strategic Forum, composed some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders.
Members of the body were expected to meet with Trump frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the president implemented his plan to bring back jobs and “Make America Great Again. ”
The other members of the forum were:
Stephen Schwarzman (forum chairman), chairman, CEO, and cofounder of Blackstone
Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Mary Barra, chairwoman and CEO, General Motors
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Rich Lesser, president and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Jim McNerney, former chairman, president, and CEO of Boeings
Ginni Rometty, chairwoman, president, and CEO of IBM
Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in economics at the Hoover Institute, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO, EY
Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO, General Electric
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winner, vice chairman of IHS Markit
Apart from being managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, Ogunlesi also serves on the boards of Callaway Golf Co. and Kosmos Energy Ltd.
At the same time Adebayo Ogunlesi is the chairman of Africa Finance Corp. and serves on the boards of various not-for-profits ranging from New York Presbyterian Hospital to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.