Published in Finance

Corporate executives look beyond shareholders

BY Monday, September 02, 2019 08:49am

The Business Roundtable, an organization of leading U.S. corporate executives, last month issued a new version of its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. 

The 181 chief executives who signed the statement, first issued in 1978 and updated periodically, “commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders,” according to a public announcement from the Business Roundtable. 

Each version of the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation issued since 1997 said corporations “exist principally to serve shareholders.” The newest version redefines that role. 

The signers of the statement included seven Michigan-based executives: 

  • Whirlpool Corp. Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer
  • Steelcase Inc. President and CEO James Keane
  • Stryker Corp. Chairman and CEO Kevin Lobo
  • Ford Motor Co. President and CEO James Hackett
  • General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra
  • Dow Inc. CEO Jim Fitterling
  • ITC Holdings Corp. President and CEO Linda Apsey 

Related articles:

The revised statement of purpose from the Business Roundtable

Steelcase’s Keane: New statement shows businesses ‘lead the way in doing good’

GVSU professor: Beware of greenwashing in Business Roundtable’s revised corporate purpose statement

— Reported by Mark Sanchez


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