Plenary Session: CEO Activism and the Political Corporation

CEO activism–the practice of CEOs taking public positions on environmental, social, and political issues not directly related to their business–has become a hotly debated topic in corporate governance. How should a board respond when a traditionally political question suddenly becomes a matter of corporate policy? Should CEOs and boards take positions on matters as diverse as gun safety laws, immigration, content control (for media platforms), gender issues, and presidential politics? How should boards measure the costs and benefits of CEO activism? How do customer, investor, and employee preferences play into that equation? Should boards distinguish between proactive statements versus defensive statements made in response to external or internal criticism or pressures? This session will present a framework that boards can use to assess the pros and cons of CEO activism, and discuss how boards can be prepare to respond to resulting criticism in face of CEOs taking public positions or remaining silent.

Location: Paul Brest Hall, Munger Graduate Residence Date: June 25, 2019 Time: 8:45 am - 10:00 am Holly J. Gregory John Hennessy Seth Jaffe Dave Larcker