CEOs of some of the largest property/casualty insurers signed onto a new document, along with some of the nation’s largest and most influential companies, urging corporate leadership for the benefit of all and not just shareholders.
The Business Roundtable on Aug. 19 issued its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, a document signed by 181 CEOs who committed to leading their companies for the benefit of customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. The statement urges companies to move away from working simply for shareholder benefit, a practice that has been common for decades.
Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg; Starr & Co. Inc. Chairman and CEO Maurice Greenberg; Progressive Corp. President and CEO Tricia Griffith; The Travelers Companies Chairman and CEO Alan Schnitzer; and USAA CEO Stuart Parker all signed the document.
Griffith, in prepared remarks, said that companies that succeed the most are active in their communities in multiple ways.
“CEOs work to generate profits and return value to shareholders, but the best-run companies do more. They put the customer first and invest in their employees and communities,” Griffith said. “In the end, it’s the most promising way to build long-term value.”
Tom Wilson, CEO of the Allstate Corp., did not sign the Business Roundtable document, but he acknowledged its importance in a New York Times opinion piece calling for corporate boards and CEOs to create more higher-paying jobs.
“Americans need higher paying jobs,” he wrote. “Businesses have the resources and capabilities to make this a reality.”