One Year Later: Purpose of a Corporation


On August 19, 2019, 181 CEOs of America’s largest corporations overturned a 22-year-old policy statement that defined a corporation’s principal purpose as maximizing shareholder return.

In its place, the CEOs of Business Roundtable adopted a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation declaring that companies should serve not only their shareholders, but also deliver value to their customers, invest in employees, deal fairly with suppliers and support the communities in which they operate.

The updated Statement better reflected the way CEOs endeavor every day to create value for all of their stakeholders and challenged companies to do more. Through a year of unprecedented crisis, the nation’s companies have held to their commitment and risen to the challenge. Business Roundtable companies have invested in workers, taken a leading role in fighting the pandemic, and supported the communities where they serve. Companies have powerfully demonstrated their commitment to work for the benefit of all stakeholders through the current crises.

Read The Full Statement On The Purpose Of A Corporation

During a time of tremendous challenge, Business Roundtable CEOs have shown what it means to live the principles we announced almost a year ago. Concurrent health, economic and racial crises have made clear how various systems are connected – and that multi-stakeholder capitalism is the answer to addressing our challenges holistically. America’s CEOs remain steadfast in our commitment to pursue economic prosperity and expanded opportunity for our employees, customers and the communities we serve.

Doug McMillon

President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart

Chairman, Business Roundtable

Reflecting on the Anniversary

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In the months that followed the release of our Statement, Business Roundtable CEOs took action to invest in worker training and education, raise wages, support new employee health and wellness benefits, promote more sustainable businesses and give back to the communities they serve.

Business Roundtable CEOs called for an increase in the federal minimum wage, access to paid family medical leave for more Americans and funding to support historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.


Employees & Communities

Business Roundtable member companies have always maintained that investing in employees and communities is important to generate profits and return value to shareholders. But the best-run companies do more. Roundtable CEOs are helping workers adjust to the rapid pace of change in the economy while working to revitalize local economies and ensure more inclusive prosperity. We’ve made progress but we know that there is more work to do.

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Learn More About Community Initiatives

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One year ago, the Business Roundtable redefined the Purpose of a Corporation because we believed it was important to articulate our values, share them with the world, and exemplify the principles in our actions. We could not have known how timely clarifying our commitment to leading our companies for the benefit of all our stakeholders would be ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’ve been proud to see how the private sector has stepped up — both in helping to address ongoing upheaval and uncertainty, and in continuing to evolve our businesses to be as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible.

Alex Gorsky

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Chair of Corporate Governance Committee, Business Roundtable

One year later – through a period of unprecedented crises – companies have demonstrated a commitment to the values embedded in the Statement.

The challenges our country has faced the past year have tested us as individuals, families, businesses and communities. Business Roundtable CEOs have been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, confronting the hard realities of our nation’s longstanding and deep-seated issues surrounding racial equity and justice.

One year later – through a period of unprecedented crises – companies have demonstrated a commitment to the values embedded in the Statement.


COVID-19 Response & Rebuilding Together

Business Roundtable CEOs are contributing resources, creativity and innovations to help meet unprecedented challenges facing the country. America’s largest employers are taking action to protect their employees and customers, while delivering for the nation under tough circumstances with a dedicated workforce.

Learn More About Our Covid-19 Response And Recovery Recommendations

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in monetary donations for COVID-19-related response efforts

Faced with the pandemic, companies have prioritized the health and safety of their employees and customers. They have raised wages and delivered bonuses to frontline workers. Many are giving generously to support their communities. Auto insurers are issuing premium rebates and credits back to their customers. Energy companies have vowed to keep power on for customers who are unable to pay. Companies have retooled operations to fill critical medical supply shortages, while others are at the forefront of efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Business Roundtable CEOs have also been using their influence to press policymakers for assistance to individuals and small businesses hard-hit by the crisis.


Advancing Racial Equity & Justice

Business Roundtable CEOs are committed to doing their part to listen, learn and use collective influence and scale to advance racial justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.

Learn More About Our Work On Racial Equity And Justice

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$2.26+ BILLION

in financial commitments for racial equity and justice efforts

In recent weeks, as the nation reckons with racial inequity injustices, CEOs are making new commitments to ensure diversity in their companies. They are helping local communities address economic and racial inequality, establishing multimillion-dollar scholarship programs for college-bound Black students and promising recipients full-time jobs, and committing millions of dollars to support Black and minority-owned U.S. businesses. Business Roundtable CEOs are using their collective voice to advocate for policies that affect their employees, customers, suppliers and communities, most recently, calling on Congress to find common ground on police reform.








CBRE President & CEO Bob Sulentic on Stakeholder Collaboration to Drive Impact

CBRE created a COVID-19 Relief Fund with company and employee contributions to support employees facing hardship and local communities.

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S&P Global CEO Doug Peterson on How Data Can Help Stakeholders and Accelerate Progress During Crises

S&P Global recognizes the importance of data and analytics on the changing economic environment and critical supply chains and is providing complimentary access to research, reports and tools.

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FIS Chairman, President & CEO Gary Norcross on Advancing Business Roundtable’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

FIS is taking tangible actions – including training and investing – to foster greater diversity and inclusion.

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International Paper Chairman & CEO Mark Sutton on the Purpose of a Corporation and Donating 2 Million Boxes for COVID-19 Relief

International Paper is addressing a critical community need by providing boxes to food banks, which have experienced a tremendous spike in demand during the pandemic.

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Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Corporate Purpose and Putting People Before Profits

Delta Air Lines is dedicated to a “virtuous circle” that puts employees first, and by doing so, delivers value to all stakeholders.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Chairman Bob Moritz on a Market System that Puts the Needs of Stakeholders at its Heart

PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited recognizes that doing good and doing well can and do co-exist.

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Visa Inc. Chairman & CEO, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. on Leading with Purpose and Supporting Employees

Visa Inc. is ensuring employees have flexibility, community and resources during the pandemic while setting measurable goals for greater diversity and inclusion.

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Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries on Pursuing a Purpose That Embraces All Stakeholders

Cognizant redefined its purpose and moved its practice of stakeholder capitalism into higher gear this past year.

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ITC Holdings Corp. President & CEO, Linda Apsey on Delivering a Greater Grid to Serve Everyone

ITC Holdings Corp. continues to keep reliable power flowing to providers of heath care, telecommunications, other essential services and households.

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Pfizer Inc. Chairman & CEO, Albert Bourla on the Unprecedented Collaboration to Develop COVID-19 Therapies and Vaccines

Pfizer Inc. believes there is a misconception that what is good for patients and what is good for shareholders are fundamentally at odds.

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Verisk Analytics Chairman, President & CEO, Scott Stephenson, on the Importance of Steady Innovation

Verisk Analytics strives to provide customers with continuous innovation over a long period of time.

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Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Chairman & CEO, Tamara Lundgren, on How Investing in All Stakeholders is an Investment in The Future of Business

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is working to help the communities in which they operate become safer and cleaner.

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Zoetis CEO Kristin Peck on How Business Purpose is a Social Purpose

Zoetis starts by investing in employees who are valued for their support of veterinarians, pet owners and food producers.

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Best Buy Co., Inc. CEO Corie Barry on How Balanced Principles Point the Company in the Right Direction

Best Buy Co., Inc. is striving to emerge from crises as both a vital and vibrant company.

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Dell Technologies Chairman & CEO Michael Dell on Seizing the Opportunity to Make a Positive Difference

Dell Technologies is committed to a multistakeholder approach which will help create an economy that works for everyone.

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Raytheon Technologies CEO Gregory Hayes Shares the Company’s COVID-19 Response

Raytheon Technologies has a history of tackling some of the world’s toughest problems.

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Vistra Corp. President & CEO, Curtis Morgan, on Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

Vistra Corp. embraces its obligation to be part of the solution whether that be related to social equity, climate change, pandemic or another important issue.

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CEO Voices

Business Roundtable CEOs reflect on the significance of the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation and share how they have taken action the past year.

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About Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.