Aug 21, 2020 - Economy

How Biden would change the game for CEOs

Photo: Olivier Douilery/AFP via Getty Images

Nick Merrill and Dan Schwerin, co-founders of Evergreen Strategy Group, write in Fast Company that if Joe Biden wins, "expectations for what it takes to be a values-driven company will increase."

The state of play: "Without the foil of President Trump, ... CEOs will have to back specific policy proposals, build coalitions, and put real political muscle behind their principles."

Merrill and Schwerin, who were top Hillary Clinton aides, have these lessons for the next phase of "stakeholder capitalism":

  1. "If Biden replaces Trump, there will be fewer easy chances to express outrage and more hard choices to make about specific policies and legislation that could become law."
  2. "CEOs who want to be seen as leaders will have to use their market power — not just their voice — to drive systemic change."
  3. "There’s going to be more scrutiny of companies when their campaign contributions and lobbying budgets contradict their stated values."

The bottom line: "Companies doubling down on their values right now are proving more resilient in the current crisis, just as they did in the last recession."

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