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Commentary: Business response to US travel ban - a watershed in CEO activism

Author: Vanessa Fuhrmans, Wall Street Journal (USA) , Published on: 7 April 2017

“A Watershed Moment in CEO Activism”, 4 Apr 2017

From gay rights to race relations, chief executives are speaking out in growing numbers on social policies that go beyond issues directly affecting their businesses.  But the massive response to the White House’s initial travel ban earlier this year marked a watershed moment in CEO activism…According to researchers at…Weber Shandwick, which tracked corporate reactions to the ban, at least 153 large and midsize companies spoke out; In 84% of instances, it was the CEO directly who took the stand...[This]…analysis didn’t include dozens of smaller-company leaders who also spoke out or signed open…What marked a particular shift from previous instances of executive activism was the large number of companies—48% of them—that took specific action in response to the ban, rather than simply issuing a corporate statement, tweet or employee memo...Business leaders are still figuring out the playbook on how and whether to speak out on…controversial issues, said Aaron Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business... Still, the hefty opposition to the ban shows “CEO activism has gone relatively mainstream.”  [Also refers to Alphabet, Google, Lyft, Twitter, Starbucks, PayPal, Deutsche Bank, Adidas].

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Related companies: adidas Alphabet Deutsche Bank Google (part of Alphabet) Lyft PayPal (part of eBay) Starbucks