America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation
Article

America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation

Fortune, 2019

Editorial Rating

8

Recommendation

Putting the needs of shareholders above all else has been the leading aim of the US corporation for decades. The Business Roundtable, an influential association of the top bosses of America’s most noteworthy firms, is seeking to alter that singular focus. Alan Murray, head of Fortune magazine, pens a succinct yet wide-ranging look at what is prompting these executives to rethink capitalism’s mission, at a time in which employees, customers, suppliers and voters are demanding greater accountability from their leaders. Readers could regard this insightful analysis as a manifesto for corporate change.

Summary

Serving the interests of its shareholders has long been the American corporation’s sole pursuit.

For years, free-market economists and CEOs have issued a full-throated defense of companies’ pursuit of profitability. The Business Roundtable (BRT) has long trumpeted the primacy of shareholder value.

Now the BRT envisages a drastically different and more inclusive capitalism that extols the worth of customers, the needs of employees, the fair treatment of suppliers, the protection of the environment and responsibility to the community.

The...

About the Author

Alan Murray is president and CEO of Fortune magazine.


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