Well, well, well, it seems the Business Roundtable, a Who’s Who of the leaders of capitalism, have had a Come-To-Jesus moment and decided that stockholders aren’t the only masters that companies serve.
I can’t wait to hear what stockholders think of that.
No, it seems that now customers, employees, suppliers and communities also have needs that must be served, as well. Never mind that any time a big company slices thousands of jobs off its payroll, Wall Street practically has an orgasm.
I saw the announcement on this and immediately thought of the numerous horror stories I’ve read and heard first hand about what it’s like to work at Amazon. Yet Jeff Bezos has signed off on the new “Statement of Purpose,” along with nearly 200 other titans of industry.
The New York Times had a great expose a few weeks back about food delivery app DoorDash. One of its reporters went undercover as a delivery guy to show what a miserable existence it was — topped off by the fact the company pocketed the tips he received. The story helped change the company’s tipping policy.
I'm not sure what the company's view is about this new BR positioning.
Lots of industries run by today’s version of robber barons are no picnic to work in. Uber and other ride-sharing services are said to be pretty rough.
Yet now the Business Roundtable is saying, in effect, we’re changing our ways. That customers, employees, vendors, communities and shareholders all matter.
Clearly, millennials and their purpose-driven mind-set have influenced the BR’s new outlook. And their spending power is growing by leaps and bounds.
Who knows what this new decree really means. The BR is reacting to generational changes. But even if it means what it says, investors still rule the roost. At the very least, they’ll remain first among equals.
But hey, like it or not, that’s capitalism.