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Apple and 180 other large companies are redefining the purpose of a company



Apple has often stated that it aims to do the right thing even if it is not financially reasonable, and all shareholders who are not happy with it should get out of the stock.

The iPhone manufacturer reiterated that attitude yesterday, joining 180 other major companies in declaring that it was time for a new understanding of the purpose of a company …

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Tim Cook was one of 180 CEOs to sign a new document stating how a company should run, says Business Roundtable.

Business Roundtable today announced the release of a new statement on the purpose of a company signed by 181 CEOs who are committed to leading their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.

Since 1978, the Business Roundtable has periodically provided corporate governance principles. Every version of the document issued since 1997 has adhered to the principles of shareholder priority – that companies exist primarily to serve shareholders. With today's announcement, the new declaration replaces previous statements and outlines a modern standard of corporate social responsibility.

The new statement opens by saying that the economy must work for everyone.

Americans deserve an economy that allows every person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to live a life of meaning and dignity.

Each company is committed to serving five different stakeholders, of which shareholders are just one.

  • Delivering value to our customers. We will continue the tradition of US companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
  • Investing in our employees. This starts by compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that helps you develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We promote diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.
  • To act fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are committed to serving as good partners for the other companies, large and small, that help us fulfill our mission.
  • Support the communities we work in. We respect the people of our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.
  • Generates long-term value for shareholders, providing the capital that enables companies to invest, grow and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders.

Business Insider highlights some of the other companies that did or did not sign.

Signatories include the leaders of companies in all industries, including Amazon, Apple, American Airlines, Caterpillar, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Walmart. Managing directors of defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon also signed. Business Roundtable members who did not sign the new document include CEOs of Alcoa, Blackstone, GE, NextEra, Parker Hannifin and State Farm.

You can read the full statement and see all the signatories here.


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