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Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, will remain on a presidential advisory panel, declining to join an exodus of executives that began with his counterpart at Merck, who stepped down in response to President Trump’s initially tepid criticism of the white nationalists at the center of the violent protests over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

“In the end, I have concluded that Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to remain engaged, not as a way to support any specific political agenda, but as a way to represent the values of Our Credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed,” Gorsky said in a statement released by J&J on Tuesday afternoon.


Four top business leaders have left Trump’s manufacturing council in protest, turning what was a fairly obscure presidential panel into an unlikely locus of political debate. Gorsky said in his statement that he “respect[s] their decision as a matter of personal conscience.”

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