Time For Clever CEO’s To Ignore The PR Advice And Let Rip

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Time for clever CEOs to ignore the PR advice and let rip

A vote of confidence in big business leaders from Bono (a singer, m’lud).

The assumption has always been that he courted Bill Gates and co because they were useful to him. His rebellious Sunday Bloody Sunday persona meant he disapproved of them really.

And we could decide whether his campaigning was a fair effort or nauseating.

I think him exploiting tax loopholes while lobbying for third world debt relief, was a personal cracking point.

Anyhow in his just-out biography Surrender he finds himself arguing that art does not exist on a higher plane than business.

“Some of the most self-absorbed people I have met are artists (I’m one of them) and some of the most selfless have been business leaders,” he writes.

I’m struggling with the idea of Bill Gates as selfless. But I do wish our own CEOs would speak more in public like they do in private.

It too often feels like are so worried about us pointing out they get £5m a year, they daren’t talk about child poverty.

Too worried of being told by shareholders to just watch the share price that their clever idea for how to reform education never gets aired.

Some of the CEOs seem too restricted by their PR advice, which is to stick to the script and don’t take a risk.

It increasingly feels like they should ignore that advice. Otherwise, what is their legacy? A slightly better than average earnings-per-share record?

Press release of the day

Measured stuff here from Greenpeace about the UK’s climate support announced at COP27.

The PM “is making some of the right noises”, but are “the new funds announced today really new”, and will they go direct to the communities that need them?

It is better for not being shouty.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Can ABF still afford a special dividend?

2) How will markets react to the US midterm elections?

3) What is Persimmon’s house price prediction?

4) Does 3i expect to pick up takeover targets on the cheap?


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