Apple has frequently said that it aims to do the right thing even when it doesn’t make financial sense, and any shareholders who aren’t happy with that should get out of the stock.
The iPhone maker yesterday reiterated that stance, and joined with 180 other big businesses in declaring that it was time for a new understanding of the purpose of a corporation …
Tim Cook was one of 180 CEOs to sign a new document stating how a company should be run, says Business Roundtable.
Business Roundtable today announced the release of a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation signed by 181 CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.
Since 1978, Business Roundtable has periodically issued Principles of Corporate Governance. Each version of the document issued since 1997 has endorsed principles of shareholder primacy – that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders. With today’s announcement, the new Statement supersedes previous statements and outlines a modern standard for corporate responsibility.
The new statement opens by stating that the economy must work for all.
Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.
Each company makes commitments to serve five different stakeholders, of which shareholders are just one.
- Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
- Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.
- Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions.
- Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.
- Generating long-term value for shareholders, who provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders.
Business Insider highlights some of the other companies who did or didn’t sign.
Signatories include the heads of companies across all industries, including Amazon, Apple, American Airlines, Caterpillar, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Walmart. CEOs of the defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon also signed. Business Roundtable members that didn’t sign the new document include the CEOs of Alcoa, Blackstone, GE, NextEra, Parker Hannifin, and State Farm.
You can read the full statement and see all the signatories here.
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