Last Monday, we discussed corporate strategies regarding Ukraine and Russia. In just one week, the number of firms exiting or reducing their Russia footprints grew substantially. For many latecomers, pressure from Congress, consumers, stockholders, and social media led to the strategic changes. With that in mind, we present an update on business social responsibility and Ukraine.


One Week Later: Update on Business Social Responsibility and Ukraine

We begin with an excerpt from a Washington Post article of March 11,2022:

The sheer volume of companies clamoring to join the list of corporations withdrawing business from Russia after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine came as a shock to Yale management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld. Founder of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Sonnenfeld has spent four decades pushing CEOs to act to benefit society, not just shareholders, on social issues ranging from gun control to voting rights.

But nothing has drawn as much attention or support from business leaders, media, or the public as his inventory of companies that have cut ties with Russia. “So many CEOs wanted to be seen as doing the right thing.” Sonnenfeld, said in a telephone interview. “It was a rare unity of patriotic mission, personal values, genuine concern for world peace, and corporate self-interest.”

Many companies pulled out in response to employee outrage over the exposure of the firms to Russia. Leaving billions of assets and revenue on the table. Sonnenfeld said the “laggards” followed this week. When the public relations arms of more than two dozen consumer products, fashion, fast food, and packaged goods companies contacted him in a single day to be included.

According to the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, as of March 13, 2022:

Since Putin’s devastating invasion of Ukraine began, 350 companies announced their withdrawal from Russia. But some companies continued to operate in Russia undeterred. The complete lists can be seen at the link above. Download the lists by clicking here. 

When the list was first published on Monday, February 28, only several dozen companies had announced their departure.

Below are snippets of the two lists, with descriptions of the strategic decisions.

Update on Business Social Responsibility and Ukraine

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