Forbes Coaches Council Member

CEOs Speaking Up

I’ve been feeling stuck and so are a lot of other writers I know. I don’t want to be part of the noise and distraction, but I’ve never been one to stand by in silence. Just a quick reminder here…my parents are holocaust survivors, so I look through a lens that may be different than yours. I understand the threat of extremism, but I also understand the power of fear, and how destructive it is to a civilized nation.

What I decided I can do is shine a light on the CEOs that I believe are doing the right thing. I’d also like to send a loud message to my Muslim friends and colleagues: You are not alone. This is a fight I and many others will fight alongside you.

Light on:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon said “We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken.”
  • Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft saidWe will always as a company stand for that diversity and inclusion. And we’ll keep pushing at it, pushing at it, and making progress. That’s core to who we are. That I believe is core to what America is.”
  • Tim Cook, the CEO Apple, told employees in a memo that his company does not support the order. “Apple would not exist without immigration,” Cook said.
  • CEOs from eBay and Etsy also said they did not support Trump’s order, as did the head of video-streaming company Netflix. #NoHouseOfCards
  • Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said the soda maker was against the travel ban, and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said the industrial conglomerate would make its “voice heard” with the new administration and Congress.
  • Ford Motor Co. said it does not support the policy “or any other that goes against our values as a company,” according to a letter signed by the automaker’s CEO Mark Fields and Executive Chairman Bill Ford.
  • Jamie Dimon and the rest of J.P. Morgan Chase’s operating committee emailed all employees over the weekend declaring the company’s “unwavering commitment” to them.
  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk bluntly criticized the order, calling it “not the best way to address the country’s challenges.”
  • Goldman Sachs, whose former employees are some of Trump’s most trusted advisers, also pushed back. “This is not a policy we support,” said the bank’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, in a voicemail to employees.
  • Google said it will give as much as $4 million to four organizations that provide legal assistance and other services to immigrants.
  • Ride-hailing app Lyft said it will give $1 million over the next four years to the American Civil Liberties Union. Lyft’s co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, said they “will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
  • Uber said it will offer financial help to employees affected by the ban.
  • Drugmaker Merck said it will offer legal advice and other assistance to its employees, as did furniture seller Ikea.
  • Starbucks said it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years at its coffee shops around the world and focusing on employing those that have served with U.S. troops as interpreters.
  • Nike CEO Mark Parker also released a letter condemning the order: “Nike stands together against bigotry and any form of discrimination,” he wrote.

Read more here:

PowerSheet by Geoff Colvin

CEOs push back against Trump temporary immigration ban

Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.



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