Donald Trump, the first U.S. president whose only previous work experience was as a business leader, is unloved by U.S. CEOs.
According to a recent survey of attendees at the 94th CEO Summit, hosted by the Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI), 88% said his negotiating style has alienated U.S. allies, 76% said Trump is not effectively leading U.S. national security and 75% said they often find themselves apologizing to international business partners for Trump’s diplomatic messages.
A majority said he was was outmaneuvered by both North Korea (65%) and Russia (72%) in his negotiations with the two countries.
Asked about the greatest threats to U.S. financial markets, more CEOs were worried about U.S. political instability (29%) than about trade issues (22%), representing a “remarkable shift” from last year’s summit poll results, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for Leadership Studies at Yale University’s School of Management and the founder and CEO of CELI, in a statement. Twenty-two percent of respondents said Federal Reserve policies represented the greatest threat to U.S. market.
“It is astounding that the nation’s first business-leader president is so condemned by the nation’s top business leaders due to Trump’s dysfunctional negotiating style,” said Sonnenfeld. “Once again, distance has grown between President Trump and the U.S. business community. This has profound consequences for CEOs’ global business activities as well as their faith in near-term U.S. financial stability.”
Close to half the CEOs surveyed (48%) said they expect the U.S. will be in a recession by the end of 2019 and 86% were worried about growing market instability in Europe. An additional 17% identified the growing national debt as a cause for concern.
Eighty-five percent thought U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May should hold another Brexit referendum to reconfirm the public’s approval on exiting the EU and only about half thought outside parties manipulated the Brexit vote.