A private phone call signals that a signed statement from CEOs weighing in on voter suppression is expected, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The former CEO of American Express Co., Kenneth Chenault, and Merck & Co. Chairman, Kenneth Frazier, are rallying fellow executives to support the fight against discriminatory legislation on voting in Texas and other states.
In response to Georgia’s recent voter legislation that has sparked a nationwide outcry and a change in location for MLB’s All-Star games, 72 Black executives from PepsiCo Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., T. Rowe Price Group Inc., and Hess Corp. may sign a document that discourages lawmakers from signing a similar bill.
Companies are now playing an active role in telling legislators what should be accepted either through their own efforts or social pressure from potential consumers and event-goers.
The opposite is also true. Some companies do not want to take a stand. The WSJ reported that a Fortune 100 company is receiving pressure from its board members, employees, and vendors to speak out, but the head of the company is concerned it will make the business a target.
“It’s really a no-win situation from a corporate standpoint,” the executive said.
According to people familiar with call, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. CEO Adam Aron and CyberCore Technologies CEO Tina Kuhn are expected to join the list. Estée Lauder Cos. director Lynn Forester de Rothschild, an American-British businesswoman who founded the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism with a goal to close the wealth gap, is also on the list, people say.
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker plans to sign the new statement, saying said the conversations he had with CEOs, including Republican chief executives, most have said the new Georgia law was unnecessary and makes it more difficult for a voter to get voting access.
As Black Enterprise reported last month, Georgia has signed sweeping election voter changes into law, Bill 531, which requires voters to have convincing identification for absentee ballots.