Apr 12, 2021 - Economy

CEOs plot next moves against restrictive voting laws after Zoom summit

Illustration of a stack of fifty dollar bills cut into the shape of a U.S. map

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Top CEOs plan to get dramatically tougher on state legislators over proposed new restrictions on voting.

Driving the news: After a weekend Zoom summit, the CEOs are threatening to withhold campaign contributions — and to punish states by yanking investments in factories, stadiums and other lucrative projects.

The call included a long list of business luminaries, including James Murdoch, Ken Chenault, Ken Frazier, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and executives of Delta, United and American Airlines.

Why it matters: After a slow response to Georgia's new limits, corporate America is suddenly makes voting access a foremost issue — and is going beyond words with sweeping economic threats.

Saturday's historic Zoom summit was organized by Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale School of Management, who told me the execs "fortified each other": "There was no sense of fear."

  • The call included 90 business leaders, plus 30 other experts and aides.

A post-summit statement said: "CEOs who participated in a live poll indicated they will re-evaluate donations to candidates supporting bills that restrict voting rights and many would reconsider investments in states which act upon such proposals."

Go deeper: CEOs are the new lawmakers

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