General Electric’s CEO defends diversity by reassuring workforce amidst Trump’s immigration crackdown. CEO Jeff Immelt said that the company has “many employees from the named countries and we do business all over the region. These employees and customers are critical to our success and they are our friends and partners.” Immelt said that “there would be no GE without our smart, dedicated employees from all over the world. There would be no GE without people of all religions, nationalities, gender, sexual orientation and race.”
Wall Street CEO Defends Diversity
Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein became the first major Wall Street leader to speak out against President Donald Trump’s order to halt arrivals from several Muslim-majority countries. In a voicemail to employees on Sunday, Blankfein said diversity was a hallmark of Goldman’s success, and if the temporary freeze became permanent, it could create “disruption” for the bank and its staff. “This is not a policy we support, and I would note that it has already been challenged in federal court, and some of the order has been enjoined at least temporarily,” Blankfein said, according to a transcript seen by Reuters.
Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat said in a memo to employees on Monday the bank is concerned about “the message the executive order sends” as well as the impact immigration policies might have “on our ability to serve our clients and contribute to growth.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co’s operating committee, which includes CEO Jamie Dimon, avoided directly criticizing the policy. In a note to staff over the weekend, the firm said it was reaching out to all employees affected and noted that the country was “strengthened by the rich diversity of the world around us.”
Bank of America Corp CEO Brian Moynihan wrote in an internal memo obtained by Reuters and confirmed by a spokesman that the bank is “closely monitoring” the order and connecting with staff who may be affected and have questions.
“We depend upon the diverse sources of talent that our teammates represent!” – the memo stated.
Other banks, including Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co, said they were reviewing the executive order and its implication on staff.
Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said in an e-mailed statement saying Coca-Cola Co. is resolute in its commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion, and we do not support this travel ban or any policy that is contrary to our core values and beliefs.
Coca-Cola joins Starbucks Corp., Nike Inc., Chobani LLC and a swath of technology companies in coming out against the order. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told his employees that he had a “heavy heart” and vowed to hire 10,000 refugees from around the world. Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant turned billionaire founder of Chobani, said he’s “very concerned,” while Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who hails from India, called the policy “painful.”
Silicon Valley Speaks Out
In Silicon Valley, the heads of companies such as Apple and Facebook swiftly denounced Trump’s immigration ban. But the rest of corporate America has been more circumspect in speaking out, underscoring the sensitivities around opposing policies that could provoke a backlash from the White House.
Top BlackRock Inc executives including CEO Larry Fink, sent a memo to staff on Monday saying Trump’s order presented “challenges” to its goals of diversity and inclusion. BlackRock is examining the direct impact on its employees, as well as the broader implications of the order, they said.
“We, of course, all want to promote security and combat terrorism, but we believe it needs to be done with respect for due process, individual rights and the principle of inclusion,” they wrote.’