Why Many CEOs Are Returning to the Role of ‘Corporate Statesman’

It’s not just consumers that executives must appeal to right now, says Yale leadership professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

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Despite his tight connections with some of the nation’s leading business leaders, Yale professor Dr. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld hadn’t expected to host a call with 90 major CEOs to discuss the politics of voter suppression.

“I thought maybe 10 would respond,” Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean for Leadership Studies at the Yale School of School of Management, told Adweek.

Two weekends after that call, Dr. Sonnenfeld is working with those CEOs, along with a range of organizations, on Corporate America’s next steps in the battle to beat back legislation across 47 states that could make it harder for minority and poor populations to vote.

The heads of such varied and powerful companies including Merck, Levi Strauss & Co.,



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