Mar 30, 2019

CEOs take an even bigger stand

A businessman's head is covered with a large bell microphone.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

CEOs are facing increasing pressure to address divisive 2020 campaign issues.

Why it matters: The days of the apolitical CEO are over. Questions from employees, shareholders and analysts about where they stand — and how policies could impact profits — have already started, and will only increase in intensity as we get closer to November 2020.

  • The heads of insurers Humana and Centene have been pressed by Wall Street analysts on Medicare for All.
  • JP Morgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon have made their own health care opinions clear by founding their short-on-details venture.
  • The CEOs of Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron are being asked about the Green New Deal.
  • The chief executives of Uber, Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson and others denounced President Trump's immigration policy — an issue that didn't directly impact their business.

What to watch: Expect CEOs to address more issues directly and/or take a stance by launching do-good programs within their own companies in a way that tries to balance shareholder, employee and customer interests.

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