Apple CEO Tim Cook has become the latest US executive to criticise Donald Trump over his reaction to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mr Cook said he disagreed with the US President’s comments that there was blame on “many sides” for the clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters.
In an email to Apple’s staff, obtained by Buzzfeed, he wrote: “What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations.
“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.
“I disagree with the President and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
His condemnation of Mr Trump’s stance came hours after the President was forced to disband two White House business councils after the high-profile resignations of several chief executives over his remarks on the violence.
The cascade of departing business leaders distancing themselves from Mr Trump includes:
:: 3M chief executive Inge Thulin: “Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M vision.”
:: Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul: “I’m resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it’s the right thing for me to do.”
:: Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier: “As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against extremism.”
:: Walmart CEO Doug McMillon: “As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.”
:: Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich: “I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing.”
:: Denise Morrison, CEO Campbell Soup: “Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.”
:: Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank: “I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport.”
:: General Electric chairman Jeff Immelt: “The Committee I joined had the intention to foster policies that promote American manufacturing and growth. However, given the ongoing tone of the discussion, I no longer feel that this Council can accomplish these goals.”
:: Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky: “The President’s most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate in the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council.”
:: United Technologies Corp CEO Greg Hayes: “It is clear that we need to collectively stand together and denounce the politics of hate, intolerance and racism. The values that are the cornerstone of our culture: tolerance, diversity, empathy and trust, must be reaffirmed by our actions every day.”
:: Corning CEO Wendell Weeks: “We will continue to have a zero tolerance policy toward racism, bigotry, and discrimination. And we will continue to create work environments and communities that are inclusive, because we know that diversity enriches all of us.”
After Mr Paul’s resignation, Mr Trump tweeted: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”