Three-Quarters Of CEOs Have Had To Apologize For Trump’s Rhetoric, Survey Shows

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Although Donald Trump has a background in business, it seems that his new role as president has not done any favors for his fellow executives. The Washington Post reports that a new survey — conducted among American executives and CEOs — found that a majority of them were extremely critical of how the president conducts business with other countries.

The survey, released on Monday, December 17, was conducted last week following the 94th CEO Summit of business, academic, and government leaders hosted by the Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute. The survey queried attendees to the summit, and found that 75 percent of respondents “often” find themselves apologizing to international business partners regarding the president’s “embarrassing diplomatic messages,” and a whopping 88 percent attribute his negotiation strategies to losing the trust of the nation’s allies.

“Once again, distance has grown between President Trump and the U.S. business community,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at Yale and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute. He claimed that it was “astounding” that the country’s first “business-leader president” is facing so much backlash among top business leaders.

“They’re very discouraged,” he told the Washington Post, explaining that the shift by CEOs from enthusiasm on some topics to disappointment towards others is “pitting people against each other all the time” and “has really worn the business community down.”

The Washington Post noted that while the data compiled was not random, since it was conducted by questioning 110 business leaders who attended the conference in question — the largest group of them leading Fortune 1000 firms — it still offered a good look as to what people in these positions think about how the president conducts international business. The survey also sought their opinions on a number of topics, including the economy and the regulation of tech companies.

Almost half of the respondents predicted that the United States would be in a state of recession by the end of 2019, and an incredible 90 percent called for increased regulation of tech companies over privacy abuses. The latter was a result that Sonnenfeld labeled “startling,” since it indicated that CEOs were looking for more control over their peers.

“There’s a line drawn in the sand between Facebook, Twitter and the rest of tech, let alone the rest of the business community,” he explained. “It’s really remarkable; I don’t think we’ve ever seen that in a prior year.”

These results echoed those from last year’s summit in December 2017, where the survey conducted revealed that 81 percent of attendees were embarrassed by President Trump’s representation of U.S. interests to the rest of the world.