Siemens AG CEO Joe Kaeser did not hold back over the weekend on Twitter when he went after President Donald Trump. His words are some of the sharpest the president has faced from a prominent businessman.
“I find it depressing that the most important political office in the world is turning into the face of racism and exclusion,” Kaeser said in a Twitter post in German. “I have lived in the USA for many years, experiencing freedom, tolerance and openness as never before.”
Kaeser’s comments come in response to Trump’s racist tweets targeting female congresswomen of color and supporting the hostile “Send her back!” chants that took over one of Trump’s rallies in North Carolina last week.
The chants were directed toward Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has been a naturalized citizen since 2000. She came from Somalia.
This isn’t the first time that Kaeser has used his influence as the leader of one of Europe’s most powerful manufacturers to make a strong point on divisive political issues that most politicians do not have the courage to do.
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After the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, Kaeser backed out of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia, according to The Washington Post.
Founded in 1847, Munich-based Siemens is one of the largest industrial manufacturing companies in the world, with 379,000 employees and a market cap north of $96 billion.
Although Kaeser has had some of the strongest words ever made public against Trump, other business leaders have stood up to the administration’s policies.
After Trump’s travel ban was issued, more than a dozen top executives at companies in Silicon Valley, including Cook, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, traded a flurry of emails to discuss what the response should be, according to The Post.
Then, more than 100 tech CEOs signed an amicus brief against the executive order.