Donald Trump claimed that his record as a businessman would stand him in good stead in the presidency. But with boycotts by consumers and unease among employees causing numerous businesses to pull away from the Trump name, it is becoming increasingly clear that the CEO-in-chief is bad for business.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump successfully billed himself to his supporters as a good leader largely based on his experience as a businessman. The reality is much different:
And more and more, it seems that association with the Trump name has become a third rail for other businesses.
After Trump signed his odious executive order banning immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries and suspending admission of Syrian refugees, and during the ensuing hectic upheaval at airports nationwide, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called for a temporary ban on pick-ups at JFK Airport “in solidarity with thousands protesting inhumane & unconstitutional #MuslimBan.”
But many users of the rideshare app Uber were appalled to see the company ignoring that strike, while seemingly attempting to capitalize on the situation by letting users know they had turned off “surge pricing,” which typically increases the fares during high demand. In reaction, the #DeleteUber campaign took off on Twitter, reportedly leading more than 200,000 users to delete their Uber accounts.
In response to that outrage and continued pressure from users, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, stepped down from his seat on Trump’s economic advisory council.
In addition to Uber, the New York Times reports that employees at Facebook have voiced concerns over billionaire investor and Trump advisor Peter Thiel’s position on their board; Twitter employees are concerned about Trump’s use of their product to promote his often erroneous and inflammatory statements; and Google employees have joined protest actions over Trump’s immigration ban.
And Trump’s negative reputation is also having an effect in the retail world. The #GrabYourWallet campaign, which offers a spreadsheet on its website listing businesses involved with Trump family merchandise, has called for boycotts of nearly three dozen retailers. In its wake, Nordstrom, Shoes.com, and many others have ceased business relationships with the Trump family brands.
The Ford Motor Co. released a strong statement condemning Trump’s Muslim ban. And in a notable and moving ad, which will air during the 2017 Superbowl, Budweiser offered the powerful story of the company’s immigrant founder.
Trump’s business relationships are rapidly deteriorating, as companies realize association with the historically unpopular president does not come across well to many consumers, and poses a threat to their bottom line. But Trump’s dismal business history ought to have made that outcome obvious.