Apr 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

CEOs are the new lawmakers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American CEOs, forced into politics by cultural trends and staff demands in recent years, are hitting a new phase — actual lawmakers and rule-shapers.

Why it matters: Every CEO has been hit by the radical transformation of what the country demands of its corporations. And with each controversy comes CEOS scrambling, sometimes clumsily, to handle a power many would rather not have.

It's not just Georgia: Corporate America is under growing pressure to put its muscle behind voting rights around the country, Axios' Courtenay Brown and Sara Fischer write.

  • Texas is shaping up to be the next big battleground: American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, said in a statement it is "strongly opposed" to a state bill with "provisions that limit voting rights." Dell CEO Michael Dell tweeted against another voting bill.

Between the lines: Employees and customers are increasingly looking to corporations to take on a bigger role in social and political issues. Many of them have leaned into that role — and gotten results.

  • Big companies, entertainers and ultimately the NBA and NCAA canceled big-ticket events in North Carolina after the state passed its anti-LGBTQ "bathroom bill" in 2016. The state lost roughly $3.8 billion in business and ended up repealing that measure less than a year later.
  • The MLB yanked the All-Star Game from Atlanta.

Go deeper: What the Georgia law actually does (AP)

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