CEOs Speaking Up and Out

February 29, 2012

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.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Ed Tobias
    Posted at 13:25h, 01 March Reply

    <<people are turning away from government to business to <<lead on some of the greater issues of the day that affect <<the greater good.Interesting piece last night on PBS' NewsHour about "B Corporations," companies that try to do things to "B"enefit society while making a profit.

    • Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
      Posted at 14:30h, 26 March Reply

      This is so interesting. Thanks for sharing. I watched the piece on newshour. Am going to investigate further. Appreciate. lgr

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