An exercise in putting people before profits.
Prominent members of the business community looking to put people before profits spoke out against President Trump’s immigration order this weekend — an unexpected but welcome part of the backlash to the ban.
On Monday morning, Gillian Tett of the Financial Times appeared on CNBC to discuss the financial risks of businesses that face off against the president and how those risks leave many CEOs loathe to speak out against any individual policy, even if they oppose it on personal and professional levels.
“They are scared out of their minds about being attacked [by Trump] … and what that’s going to do for their business,” she explained.
Those CEOs aren’t wrong to worry, either. Since being elected, Trump has continually taken aim at companies that have criticized him, using his Twitter account to tank their stock prices. In December, after Boeing’s CEO made an argument in favor of trade agreements, Trump fired off a series of tweets about canceling plans to use the company for the new Air Force One series of planes. As a result, the company’s stock price fell by 1% before recovering. Trump’s tweet about Boeing and a $4 billion contract was a bit of an exaggeration; the company has a $170 million contract, which a tweet cannot cancel.
Knowing that a Trump-fueled attack on their companies — and the value of their shares — could be waiting just around the corner, here are 15 companies and CEOs who took a stand against the immigration ban this weekend:
1. Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky offered free housing to people affected by the travel ban.
On a statement posted to its website, the company also offered a way for Airbnb hosts to volunteer help.
Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
2. Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston called Trump’s order “un-American.”
Executive orders affecting world’s most vulnerable are un-American. Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths
— Drew Houston (@drewhouston) January 28, 2017
3. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson spoke out against the order and urged others to contact legislators and support organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union.
We are a nation of immigrants, and are stronger for it. I oppose excluding people from US based on their nationality or religion, period.
— Chad Dickerson (@chaddickerson) January 28, 2017
4. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an essay to his profile sharing the story of his and his wife Priscilla’s immigrant and refugee origins.
“We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help,” Zuckerberg wrote. “That’s who we are. Had we turned away refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla’s family wouldn’t be here today.”
5. Google created a crisis fund to support immigrant-rights organizations.
According to a statement provided to USA Today, Google has created a $4 million crisis fund for four immigrant-rights organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee, and UNHCR.
“We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the U.S.,” said the company. “We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”
6. Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta donated $100,000 to the ACLU — and didn’t stop there.
In a short Twitter thread on Sunday evening, Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta announced a $100,000 donation to the ACLU, the creation of “office hours” with immigration attorneys for employees and their families, and a pledge to expedite H-1B visas and green cards for employees in need.
1/6 As an immigrant who grew up in one of the countries that was banned, I’m sad and angry with what is happening.
— Apoorva Mehta (@apoorva_mehta) January 29, 2017
7. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner used Trump’s ban as an opportunity to boost and expand the company’s Welcome Talent program for refugees in the U.S.
40% of Fortune 500 founded by immigrants or their children. All ethnicities should have access to opportunity — founding principle of U.S.
— Jeff Weiner (@jeffweiner) January 28, 2017
8. In a blog post, ride-hailing app Lyft’s co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green committed to a $1 million donation to the ACLU over the next four years.
“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe. This weekend, Trump closed the country’s borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin. Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community. We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends. We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other – and together, continue proving the power of community.”
9. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings didn’t mince words on his Facebook page, calling Trump’s executive order “so un-American it pains us all.”
10. Nike’s president and CEO took a stand against the ban in an email to employees.
Looking to Olympian Mo Farah’s statement on how Trump’s ban would prevent the four-time gold medalist from returning to his home in the U.S., Nike President and CEO Mark Parker emailed employees, urging them to “[stand] together against bigotry and any form of discrimination.”
11. Postmates founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann — who also happens to be an immigrant — wrote a blog post skewering the Trump administration, saying, “I no longer believe it to be reasonable to remain silent.”
He also pledged to match employee donations to the ACLU and International Refugee Assistance Project.
“The trade-off of these policies is obvious. In exchange for the guise of safety rooted in fear of those with different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds we will be abandoning the diverse melting pot of culture and ideas that has made the United States prosper. That is the bedrock that creative growing companies like Postmates have been built upon. Ignoring the dynamics of this diversity, which is distinctly American and has set our country apart from the rest the world throughout history is short sighted and damaging.”
12. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff shared some poignant scripture and a well-known (if sadly ignored) piece of poetry, using the hashtag #noban.
13. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield delivered an impassioned argument against the administration’s actions and shared his family’s own story of immigration.
“My grandfather came from Poland between the wars, at 17, sponsored by an elder sister,” he wrote. “Two more siblings made it. Everyone else died. Their parents were shot in the streets and thrown in a mass grave (we believe). Their other siblings died in the camps. Every cousin (and really, everyone they knew) was killed. That whole branch of the family tree snuffed out. And now we want to do this to others. It’s bewildering and confusing and terrifying.”
I guess we all need to periodically reaffirm the obvious. All human beings are equally valuable. Black lives matter. LGBT deserve marriage.
— Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) January 28, 2017
14. In a letter to employees, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz unveiled a four-part rebuke to Trump’s actions toward immigrants and refugees.
The plan includes supporting DACA, hiring refugees, building bridges with Mexico instead of walls, and committing to support Starbucks employees if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Schultz also pledged to hire 10,000 refugees in 75 countries over the next five years.
15. Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey called the executive order “upsetting.”
On Friday, the day the order was signed, Dorsey shared a mini-documentary about Yassin Terou, a Syrian refugee living in the U.S.
Long before his political aspirations took flight, Trump was a CEO, which makes the response from the business community even more powerful.
If he refuses to listen to the American people and fellow politicians, perhaps it’ll be the judgment of the country’s corporate leaders that sways Trump’s opinion one way or another. CEOs and business leaders who are willing to take a stand against some of Trump’s harmful policies may be one of the more effective ways of communicating with him.
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