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CEOs Say Shareholder Value Isn’t Everything

Publicly trade companies have a duty to do much more than deliver hefty dividends to shareholders, says the Business Roundtable.
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Publicly trade companies have a duty to do much more than deliver hefty dividends to shareholders, says the Business Roundtable.

The group’s statement, cosigned by 181 CEOs, refutes the view dating back more than 30 years that companies exist mainly to benefit their shareholders. Critics say that philosophy has pushed businesses—and Wall Street—to focus on short-term results and create huge compensation packages for top executives.

The Business Roundtable say it is “modernizing” the role of a corporation by expanding its definition to five equal core goals: delivering value to customers, investing in employees, dealing fairly with suppliers, supporting the local community and generating long-term value for shareholders.

Among CEO signatories in the transportation sector are Mary Barra (General Motors), Jim Hackett (Ford), Frederic Lissalde (Borg Warner), Craig Arnold (Eaton), Steve Fisher (Novelis) and Lisa Davis (Siemens USA).

Other CEOs represent such companies as Amazon, American Express, Apple, Bechtel, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Dell, Dow, Exxon Mobil, Fox, Hearst, IBM, Marriott, Mastercard, Oracle, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Steelcase, UPS, Visa, Walmart and Xerox.

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