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World Economic Forum 2018 discusses rise in CEO activism

Author: Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil (USA), Published on: 24 January 2018

"The new age of CEO activism", 16 Jan 2018

...The rising popularity of wedge issues in the West increasingly dominates global headlines, stirring emotions and prompting responses... Under those challenging and highly-fluid circumstances, some CEOs have emerged as conscious leaders. Ken Frazier, Merck Chairman and CEO, drew a firm line in protest when he resigned from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council in objection to the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville. An avalanche of fellow council CEO resignations followed... Soon, prominent CEOs...will have additional help as PR firms grow their coaching toolkit, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article. CEO activism isn’t that new to social enterprises, which are often founded to promote a cause which can be divisive. Can social entrepreneurs’ experience help guide mainstream CEOs...? 1. Developing an authentic voice takes time and concerted effort...; 2. Focus and alignment...: Research shows CEOs fare better when...issues they promote bear a tangible connection to their business...; 3. Recruit and promote competent senior leadership who are also co-activists.Compared to closed-door lobbying, CEO activism provides a more transparent and participatory environment... Besides, with a majority of millennials expecting CEOs to take a stand on social issues and rewarding CEOs who do that well with sales boosts and lower staff churn, competitive CEOs may have no other choice. [Refers to Ariel Investments, Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, Starbucks]. 

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Related companies: Merck Starbucks