NEWS & ANALYSIS

Corporate CEOs Push Back Against Election Integrity Efforts


Dozens of corporate CEOs and senior leaders gathered over the weekend to plot a revolution against efforts to ensure election integrity in Texas and other states. 

Essentially, they pledged to support efforts that encourage voter fraud. 

Kenneth Chenault, former chief executive of American Express Co., and Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co., urged the leaders to collectively call for greater voting access and sign a statement opposing what they view as discriminatory voting legislation, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The statement, which builds on one that 72 executives signed last month, will include signees like PepsiCo Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., T. Rowe Price Group Inc., Hess Corp, AMC Entertainment Holdings and Estée Lauder Cos. 

Following the passage of Georgia’s new voting law, CEOs of companies big and small are facing increased pressure from progressives to speak out. While many companies – like Coca Cola – have jumped right in on the fun, others remain skeptical. 

But, if you don’t stand with the progressives, you stand alone – canceled! 

One executive from a Fortune 100 consumer-products company said board members, employees and vendors are pressing leaders to speak out, but doing so could put a target on the company’s back. 

“It’s really a no-win situation from a corporate standpoint,” the executive said. 

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, who plans to sign the new statement, said that in his conversations with CEOs, including republican chief executives, most have said they don’t see the need for laws to tighten voter access. 

“There is no more difficult job in America today than leading a public company,” Walker said. “There are so many stakeholders who have a point of view about what ought to be the priority of your company, and have views that are sometimes diametrically opposed.”