Adebayo Ogunlesi, a Nigerian born adviser to US President Donald Trump has been sacked by the president along with other distinguished CEOscounselling the embattled President Trump on how to “Make America Great Again”.
Trump sacked Ogunlesi on Twitter, when he announced the dissolution of two business advisory councils, in one fell swoop.
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. Ogunlesi, heads Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies. He was the only African on the panel.
The New York Times reported before Trump’s tweeted dissolution, that members of Ogunlesi’s panel were debating dissolving the body entirely as Trump wallowed deeper into bigotry quagmire. But Trump preempted their move.
“Corporate leaders had hoped that President Trump would help businesses by slashing taxes and gutting regulations. It is not clear how much he will deliver on that score. On top of that, he is putting many chief executives in the position of answering for a president with an unparalleled track record of outraging people, most recently at a contentious press conference when he drew a false equivalence between the white supremacists who protested in Charlottesville, Va., recently and counter-protesters”, NYT reported.
Trump had earned rebuke and isolation from business leaders for supporting racial bigotry, White Supremacists and the KKK, following his remarks that failed to blame the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on the groups. Instead, he blamed all the sides and the group that challenged the racists.
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 because Mr. Trump was slow to condemn the white supremacists rather blamed “many sides” for the violence.
Ogunlesi’s Strategic Forum, composed some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders. 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. He is also 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.