At a meeting of the umbrella organization of leading companies in the US such as Apple, Pepsi and Walmart, nearly 200 CEOs have defined new principles of corporate governance. For the first time in more than 20 years, the business roundtable distanced itself from the so-called shareholder value principle, as the New York Tim reports . Instead, the focus should be on investments in employees, environmental protection and a fair and ethical approach to suppliers.
"We know that many Americans have problems, too often hard work is not rewarded, and not enough is done to help workers adapt to the rapid pace of economic change," the entrepreneurs write in their statement.
According to the shareholder value principle, the management has to act in the interests of the shareholders. The goal is to maximize the long-term value of the company by maximizing profits and increasing the return on equity. In the statement, the CEOs formulate new cornerstones for a corporate governance. This is intended to protect added value for customers and the environment at locations. In addition, employees are to be supported, for example, by being fairly remunerated and receiving training and further education.
Americans open to radical transformation of the economy
The entrepreneurs are reacting to the current social situation in the USA. For example, according to a poll by the Voter Study Group, many Americans are open to a radical program that is reshaping the country's economy. A clear majority supports tax breaks for low paid workers, paid parental leave, an increase in the minimum wage and higher taxes for the rich. A majority also advocates smashing large banks and making it easier for workers to organize.
The Business Roundtable represents CEOs of leading US companies. These CEOs lead companies with more than 15 million employees and annual sales in excess of $ 7 trillion. Since 1978, the Business Roundtable has regularly featured corporate governance principles.