Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, a Republican and a "vocal" supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is urging all US citizens to step up and support President-elect Donald Trump.
"While the results of the election are not what I had hoped for, I believe that once the debate is over and the votes have been counted, it is the obligation of every citizen to support our president," wrote Whitman in a Facebook post Thursday. "So, I for one intend to give President-elect Trump the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to demonstrate that he can lead our diverse nation."
Whitman's public support for Trump comes with protests over the election erupting in a number of cities including Portland, Columbus, and Minneapolis.
"After such a hard-fought election, it is important that every American take a moment to reflect on the results and to understand the message that our citizens have sent," Whitman said. "Then we must bring the country together and move forward, stronger than ever."
Whitman, who made an unsuccessful run for governor of California as the Republican nominee in 2010, campaigned for Clinton and was front and center supporting her at the last debate between the two candidates.
A CRN US poll of 1300 solution providers that ran from 6 October to through 4 November showed 46 percent of respondents felt Trump would be the better candidate for business, with 44 percent saying Clinton would be the better candidate.
Joe Balsarotti, owner and president of Software To Go, a top solution provider in the St Louis metropolitan market, applauded Whitman for moving to "bring the country together" in the midst of the current divisiveness in the nation.
"It's a classy move," said Balsarotti. "Emotions run high during campaigns and when the campaign is over those of us who understand the process realise that you are never going to get 100 percent of what you want."
Balsarotti said Whitman, like most Fortune 500 CEOs, was a pragmatist who realised that the political "winds are always changing, markets change and customers change".
"I don't think you can get to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company without being a pragmatist," he said.
Balsarotti, who voted for Trump, said he was hopeful the president-elect would improve the climate for small businesses.
"I am hoping there is going to be a change in attitude toward small businesses," he said. "One of the things that bothered me about the election is that there were so many people demonising businesses."