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"CEO activism" on social issues is having a political impact, says New York Times op-ed

"The Power of C.E.O. Activism", 1 April 2016

Over the past few years, chief executives — including prominent figures like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Howard Schultz of Starbucks — have been taking public stances on controversial issues like race relations and gender equality that are unrelated to their core businesses...But is it politically effective? Anecdotal evidence suggests so...after public pressure from the chief executives of Intel, Salesforce.com and Unilever, Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia...announced his intention to veto a "religious liberty" bill that would allow faith-based businesses and nonprofit groups to discriminate against same-sex couples. And last year, Apple's chief executive, Timothy Cook, publicly opposed a similar bill in Indiana...Our findings, reported in a working paper released last month, suggest that C.E.O. activism can sway public opinion — and also increase interest in buying the company's products. [also refers to Angie's List, Chick-fil-A]