Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Business Roundtable today made a small, symbolic but significant move: 181 of the nation’s top CEOs agreed that driving shareholder value is no longer their sole business objective. 

Why this matters: They expanded their mission beyond mere wealth creation to include everything from taking care of employees to helping their communities.

  • This shift, spearheaded by BRT Chairman and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, reflects the growing pressure from employees, social media and customers to do more than increase stock prices. 

The big picture ... Truth is, even the most press-shy, introverted CEOs need to be de facto politicians, thanks to several unambiguous social trends: 

  • Millennial employees demand their employers stand for something beyond profit. 
  • It is getting harder to recruit and retain talent, especially tech talent, if profit is the only objective. 
  • A rising number of consumers make purchasing decisions based on a company's social purpose. 
  • The media applies a lot more pressure on CEOs to take positions on political topics, such as race and immigration. 
  • Every CEO/company is vulnerable to split-second, social media uprisings. Undefined CEOs and companies find it impossible to push back. 

Watch for: Mischievous shareholders could use this BRT document, which was first reported by Fortune's Alan Murray, to accuse CEOs of worrying about things beyond increasing the value of their shares, a fiduciary responsibility.

  • I hear several general counsels cringed — and protested — when they saw this document. 

Interesting historical note: A half decade ago, Steven Pearlstein, who won a Pulitzer for his WashPost columns on the economy, partly blamed the BRT’s focus on shareholder value alone for the corruption of capitalism.

Tuck away … The BRT members that didn't sign the new document: Alcoa, Blackstone, GE, Kaiser Permanente, NextEra, Parker Hannifin and State Farm.

Read the BRT's full text and see the CEOs that signed on:

Go deeper: The issues haunting CEOs during the Trump era

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
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The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Scientists are racing to learn more about the damage the novel coronavirus can do to the heart, lungs and brain.

Why it matters: It’s becoming increasingly clear that some patients struggle with its health consequences — and costs — far longer than a few weeks.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,642,602 — Total deaths: 1,007,769 — Total recoveries: 23,387,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,191,061 — Total deaths: 205,998 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility
  5. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  6. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  7. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  8. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed 46,600 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Some 18,700 firefighters are battling 27 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: 8,155 wildfires have burned across a record 3.86 million acres, killing 26 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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