Several individuals and entities have begun distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of journalist and prominent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was last seen on October 2, when he entered into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to secure official documents for his upcoming wedding to his Turkish fiance Hatice Cengiz.
The 59-year-old, who formerly served as an adviser to senior officials in the Saudi government and who had been living in self-imposed exile in the US, has not been seen since.
Some have speculated that he could have been kidnapped or killed inside the consulate, reportedly at the order of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman using a team of hit men flown in specially to undertake the task.
Official response to Khashoggi's disappearance have been mixed.
Saudi officials claim that The Washington Post contributor left the consulate, but haven't provided any definitive proof. Turkish officials previously alleged that Khashoggi was killed and claim there's no evidence he ever left the consulate, while Canada, the UN, and President Trump have expressed "concern" over the journalist's whereabouts.
In a story published Thursday, The Washington Post said the Turkish government told US officials it has audio and video showing that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
Global business leaders, policymakers, media moguls and tech executives have also taken notice and are beginning to move away from dealings with Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Group
Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Group are severing ties with Saudi Arabia because of the Khashoggi case.
In a blog post on Virgin Group’s website, Branson announced that Virgin Galatic and Virgin Orbit will suspend its discussions with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government,” Branson wrote. “We have asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi and to clarify their position in relation to Mr. Khashoggi.”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers are also pushing
Former US secretary of energy Ernest Moniz
Former US energy secretary Ernest Moniz suspended his membership on an advisory board for a $500 billion Saudi megacity project called Neom.
Google-linked executive Dan Doctoroff
Dan Doctoroff, the founder of Sidewalk Labs, an urban planning unit of the Google parent company, Alphabet, also
Neelie Kroes, a former vice president of the European Commission
Kroes told The Wall Street Journal she was also suspending her role in the Neom project "until more is known" on Khashoggi's disappearance.
Sam Altman, partner at Y Combinator
The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times columnist, said he was "terribly distressed by the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reports of his murder," and said he would not attend the conference.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief at The Economist
Zanny Minton Beddoes, who serves as editor-in-chief at The Economist, is also pulling away from the FII conference.
Spokeswoman Lauren Hackett told Reuters Beddoes would no longer be participating.
Media mogul Arianna Huffington
Billionaire AOL cofounder and venture capitalist Steve Case
Patrick Soon-Shiong, billionaire philanthropist and owner of the Los Angeles Times
"Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong will not be attending the upcoming Future Investment Initiative event in Riyadh," a spokesman told CNBC.
Viacom CEO Robert Bakish
Harbour Group, a US lobbying firm that represented the Saudi government
Harbour Group is one of several lobbying firms that represent the Saudi government. The firm earned $80,000 per month to represent the Saudi Embassy in Washington, but ended its contract on Thursday, The New York Times reported, citing the firm's managing director, Richard Mintz.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
"I'm very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi," he said in a statement. "We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won't be attending the FII conference in Riyadh."
JP Morgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon
Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink
Fink pressed Saudi officials to postpone the event but later decided to drop out of the event, The New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Steve Schwarzman, CEO of The Blackstone Group
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Mnuchin pulled out of an appearance at FII on Thursday after initially saying outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance.
Fox Business pulled out of FII late Thursday.
The network was the last remaining American sponsor of the event. Its host Maria Bartiromo was scheduled to speak at the conference, but said she would not attend unless she was provided an "unrestricted interview" with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Axios said.