Top CEOs update mission to reflect shift in US values
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Aug 22, 2019
Top CEOs update mission to reflect shift in US values

The US Business Roundtable (BRT) has amended its mission statement to reflect the importance of corporate responsibility over shareholders’ wishes. This move aligns with a growing desire for brands to show greater transparency and adhere to a values-led business approach.

Since 1970, the BRT, which comprises the CEOs of nearly 200 prominent businesses in the US, has sought to ‘protect shareholder primacy’ and ‘engage in activities designed to increase its profits’. In 1997, the association declared: “The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders,” setting the tone for companies across the nation. But the BRT has now amended its mission, with updated priorities that include ‘diversity and inclusion’, ‘supporting the communities in which we work’, and ‘protect[ing] the environment’. “Society gives each of us a license to operate,” says Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM. “It’s a question of whether society trusts you or not. We need society to accept what it is that we do.”