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Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Trump’s Advisory Council Over Paris Accord Decision

Variety logo Variety 6/1/2017 Alex Stedman
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Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that he’s stepping down from a White House advisory council following President Donald Trump’s Thursday announcement that he plans to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.

“As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal,” he tweeted.

Iger’s announcement comes just a couple of hours after Elon Musk also revealed that he’s resigning from the council due to the decision.

Disney later issued a longer statement from Iger. “Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future, and they aren’t mutually exclusive.  I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and, as a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s advisory council.”

The official name of the group was the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, and it included an array of CEOs from across industries, including Mary Barra of General Motors and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. Stephen A. Schwarzman, the co-founder of Blackstone, serves as chairman.

Iger, who gave money to Hillary Clinton during the campaign, faced some criticism for his participation. Asked about it at Disney’s shareholders meeting in March, he said that it was “an opportunity for me to express views that I think … are of value to the company and its shareholders.” He said that it was important to have a seat at the table, and that his participation did not reflect an endorsement of Trump’s positions or that of the administration. Iger has previously been a champion of issues like immigration reform, while Trump ran against it.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, also was a member of the forum, and he initially argued that it was important to have a seat at the table. But he resigned in February, in the wake of Trump’s initial executive order restricting travel from a number of Muslim-majority countries.

In announcing his decision, Trump said that the Paris accord was a bad deal for the United States that would hurt American workers.

“I will work to ensure that America remains the world’s leader on environmental issues, but under a framework that is fair and where the burdens and responsibilities are equally shared among the many nations all around the world,” Trump said.

 But a number of business leaders urged him to stay in the agreement. CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt and Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein criticized Trump’s decision.

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