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Here's how CEOs reacted to Trump's exit from Paris climate agreement

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer

President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement on Thursday, citing concerns that the agreement was bad for the economy and job creation. Trump’s position was likely about coal and campaign promises. Trump said he would potentially renegotiate the—voluntary—agreement in the future. However, the business community did not particularly welcome the announcement.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who pushed for Trump to exit Paris with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who gave Trump an ultimatum to stay. Source: Reuters

Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who had threatened to leave the president’s advisory council, confirmed he would in a disapproving tweet.

Musk was followed by Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger, who also resigned in protest.

GM (GM) said CEO Mary Barra would remain on the council, according to a Reuters reporter.

Blackstone (BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman will also remain.

Council member Ginny Rometty of IBM (IBM) does not tweet, but IBM told the Hill that she would remain in the advisory council: “We believe we can make a constructive contribution by having a direct dialogue with the Administration – as we do with governments around the world.”

The news was enough to get Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein to finally use the Twitter account he created in 2011. His first tweet:

The CEO of GE (GE), Jeff Immelt, tweeted his disappointment. (He is not on the council, but former GE CEO Jack Welch is. Welch has not issued any statements.)

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted disappointment and said Google will work for a “cleaner, more prosperous future for all.”

Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM), tweeted that he was “deeply disappointed.”

Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella tweeted, “We believe climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. We remain committed to doing our part.”

Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey filled his twitter timeline with pro-Paris agreement retweets.

At this point, some CEOs might not see utility in responding, but up until Thursday’s announcement, many CEOs had already urged Trump to remain. A large number of prominent CEOs signed a letter to the president. As the Harvard Business Review noted, “this is not a tree-hugger group.”

Inge Thulin, 3M Company

James K. Kamsickas, Dana Incorporated

Michael B. Polk, Newell Brands, Inc.

Oliver Bäte, Allianz SE ()

Andrew Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company

Geisha Williams, Pacific Gas & Electric

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America Corp.

Edward Breen, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company

David Taylor, Procter & Gamble Company

Zhang Yue, BROAD Group

Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric

Feike Sijbesma, Royal DSM

Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company

Lloyd C. Blankfein, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc

Marc Benioff, Salesforce

David W. MacLennan, Cargill Inc.

William Brown, Harris Corporation

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Solvay

Michael L. Corbat, Citigroup, Inc.

Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson

Elon Musk, Tesla

James Quincey, The Coca Cola Company

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase

Paul Polman, Unilever

Wendell Weeks, Corning Incorporated

François-Henri Pinault, Kering

Richard Branson, Virgin

Tom Linebarger, Cummins Inc.

James Gorman, Morgan Stanley

Robert A. Iger, The Walt Disney Group

It’s even longer. On CNBC, HP (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman urged Trump to stay.

“[P]lease do not withdraw from the Paris climate accord; this is not in the best interest of Americans,” Whitman said on “Squawk on the Street.”

ExxonMobil (XOM) CEO Darren Woods sent Trump a letter, and Woods’s predecessor and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to have been urging Trump to remain in the agreement.

Multinational mining company (iron, coal, copper, petroleum, and more) company BHP Billiton’s (BLL) CEO Andrew Mackenzie told an Australian TV station that he personally asked Trump to stay in the agreement.

Last week, Intel (INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich tweeted that Intel had been advocating for staying in the Paris accord.


Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, tech, and personal finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann. Got a tip? Send it to tips@yahoo-inc.com.

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