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Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board

Intel's Brian Krzanich is the latest CEO to walk off President Trump's American Manufacturing Council advisory board, following the events of the weekend in Charlottesville, N.C. and Trump's slow response in condemning white nationalist violence.

Krzanich -- who stood next to Trump in February and announced a $7 billion investment in a new factory in the US -- laid out his reasons for leaving in an official blog post on Monday night: (See also Trump & Tech: Round 1 and Trump & Consequences.)

    I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does.

One woman was run over and killed in Charlottesville protesting against the Unite the Right rally Saturday, and two police officers died when their helicopter crashed.

Two CEOs -- from pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. and sports clothing company Under Armour -- had already resigned in protest from the board before Krzanich because Trump did not specifically condemn "neo-nazis" and the "KKK" by name until Monday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also resigned from the council in June after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. Three other executives from Arconic, Ford and US Steel have left their companies since the council was formed. No replacements for those representatives have been named since.

President Trump responded to the departures Tuesday, tweeting out:

The Intel CEO also appears to be frustrated at the slow pace of change around promoting American manufacturing. "Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue," he wrote in the blog.

"My request -- my plea -- to everyone involved in our political system is this: Set scoring political points aside and focus on what is best for the nation as a whole," the CEO continued. "The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was and what it still can and should be."

Intel was one of the many carriers and tech companies that contributed towards Trump's inauguration ceremony in January as a sign of support for the president. The chipmaker gave half a million dollars to the inauguration committee. (See Cable, Telecoms Spend Millions to Fete Trump.)

Several US tech CEOs have previously made it clear that they expect a "Trump bump" from the administration, which is expected to have a lighter regulatory touch and cut corporate tax rates. Tax reform is expected to be the next major piece of administration that the White House and GOP will attempt to undertake. (See AT&T CEO Hoping for a Trump Bump in 2017.)

Among tech companies, the CEOs of Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) and 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) remain on the Trump advisory board.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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