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CEO activism can boost bottom line

April 20. Duke University professor Aaron Chatterji has found that while CEO activism doesn’t appear to change hearts and minds on social issues, it can strengthen bonds with existing customers.

“CEO activism might not be about moving the needle on how people think, but might be rallying supporters to their side who actually get excited about buying the products,” said Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

CEOs have been taking high-profile stances against new laws affecting LBGT individuals in North Carolina, Mississippi and elsewhere recently.  These include Michael Lamach, CEO of Davidson-based Ingersoll Rand, and Mitchell Gold of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, also headquartered in the Tar Heel State.

Along with Lamach and Gold, corporations like Apple, Uber, Tumblr and PayPal signed an open letter from the Human Rights Campaign urging the repeal of HB2.

Chatterji discusses his research in this brief video:


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