CEOs Speaking Up and Out
CNNMoney recently asked the question about whether CEOs should be speaking out on hot issues of the day. It is a fair question to ask. Years ago, CEOs would never really speak up or out about global climate change, saving the whales or getting girls to become engineers. The article cites the Human Rights Campaign video that has several CEOs speaking out on very hot issues such as same sex marriage (CEOs from Nike, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks and Microsoft). As we witness the growing incivility in Congress, it is not terribly surprising that people are turning away from government to business to lead on some of the greater issues of the day that affect the greater good. Note that Senator Olympia Snow from Maine’s resignation yesterday after three terms due to the political “lack of comity.” Companies and CEOs take on more political issues to attract the best talent, align the values they preach to employees with their actions and to reach common ground with their customers who care more about these issues than they used to when purchasing products. So far, I have not seen terrible backlashes from consumers in the positions that some of these CEOs have taken. Maybe now is the right time.