President-elect Donald Trump is beefing up his cadre of CEO-advisors: the incoming commander-in-chief said Wednesday that he is adding three more of America’s most prominent chief executives to an economic forum dedicated to job creation and productivity.
The Trump transition team announced Wednesday that the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum is adding to its ranks Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. The forum, which was first announced earlier this month, is meant to give the president-elect direct and non-partisan perspectives from the private sector as he shapes his economic agenda. Previously-announced forum members include JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon, GM head Mary Barra and Disney’s Bob Iger. Stephen Schwartzmann, the billionaire co-founder of the Blackstone Group, will serve as the forum’s chair.
“America has the most innovative and vibrant companies in the world, and the pioneering CEOs joining this Forum today are at the top of their fields,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday morning. “My administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland.”
The addition of Musk and Nooyi to the forum is especially notable, as both chief executives have criticized the president-elect and or his campaign season rhetoric in the recent past.
“I think a bit strongly that [Trump] is probably not the right guy” for the presidency, and that “he doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States,” Musk told CNBC during an interview on November 4.
Speaking at the Dealbook conference in New York two days after the election, Nooyi, who had supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, joked about needing a box of tissues and went on to denounce the overtly misogynistic tone to things that Trump said on the campaign trail and in his life as a private citizen — including the comments he made in 2005 about grabbing women by their crotches and using his celebrity status to sleep with them.