Readers of this newsletter know that I am a fan of the “Purpose of a Corporation” statement made by the Business Roundtable three years ago, marking the end of an era of shareholder supremacy and counting employees, customers, suppliers, the communities they operate in and the planet all as equal partners in corporate business. Indeed, I published a book this year on the broader shift in how corporations are approaching their obligations to society, The capitalist of tomorrow.
But for reasons not entirely clear to me, BRT seems to have lost its environmental enthusiasm. In a Medium post last week that was meant to reinforce the statement from three years ago, the organization did not mention the environment. This followed his opposition to the (ridiculously named) Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was actually an important climate action bill.
The people at BRT insist that nothing has changed. And indeed, many of the groups’ top members — including GM Chairwoman Mary Barra and Walmart’s past chairman Doug McMillon — signaled their support for the climate bill and have made dramatic changes at their companies to support the effort. for the climate. However, BRT itself seems to have changed its stance.
Why? There are many possible reasons. The reluctance of the Biden administration to acknowledge the necessary role of fossil fuels in an energy transition certainly angered many CEOs. The SEC’s relatively tough approach to climate disclosure also raised concerns. An impatience to avoid the crossfire of partisan warfare certainly plays a role. And the BRT’s traditional opposition to any increase in the tax burden of its members was clearly the main factor in its opposition to the IRA.
Let’s hope this shift in BRT doesn’t reflect a broader retreat by US-based businesses from their impressive and laudable efforts to increase climate action in recent years. Even if it doesn’t, any successful effort to address climate change will ultimately require cooperation between business and government. At the moment, this collaboration is hard to find.
More news below.
LGBTQ rights in Singapore
Singapore said on Sunday it will repeal a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex between men. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the move as he addressed Singapore’s continued bid for more global talent. In the past, multinational corporations have had trouble securing visas for same-sex partners, and repealing the law is expected to boost the city-state’s business appeal. Lee said “most Singaporeans will now accept” the repeal of the law, but Singapore will still not recognize same-sex marriage; in fact, it will amend its constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Bloomberg
The fall of a CEO
In 2015, Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, gained headlines, speaking engagements and social media fame by announcing that he was raising his company’s minimum wage to $70,000. He remained in the spotlight for years with frequent social media posts about inequality. But a New York Times the investigation reveals that Price allegedly used his platform to lure women, whom he allegedly abused. He resigned last week before the NYT story was published and says he “never physically or sexually abused anyone” and that “other allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women in [the NYT story] are simply false.” New York Times
Gen Z moves beyond TikTok
A new crop of social media apps are catching the eye of General Mr. BeReal, Locket Widget, Yubo and Poparazzi promise more connections with friends and less of the influencer content that now dominates TikTok and Instagram. “What we’re seeing now is Gen Z’s taste is shifting towards deeper, more personalized experiences,” says Matt Moss, founder of Locket. Guardian
ABOUT THE WATER COOLER
Russia’s best and brightest are leaving the country in record numbers. 6 young Russians explain why they left Yvonne Lau
Elon Musk is reportedly considering investing in a rival to his brain computing startup Neuralink by Alena Botros
Walmart expands abortion coverage to employees: ‘It’s a step in the right direction, but it just doesn’t go far enough’ by The Associated Press
What Beyoncé and Serena Williams Taught Me About Ambition and Motherhood by L’Oreal Thompson Payton
DC’s pioneering ‘Baby Bonds’ plan aims to narrow wealth gap: ‘Takes such a burden off my shoulders’ by The Associated Press
Singapore could overtake Australia and Hong Kong to become Asia’s millionaire capital in less than a decade by Yvonne Lau
This edition of CEO Daily is edited by Claire Zillman.
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