From Tim Cook to Howard Schultz: Why CEOs Engage Firms in Social Activism

Maks-Solomon, Cory. 2019. “Cosmopolitan CEOs and Corporate Political Activity on Social Issues.” Working paper.

The median S&P 500 CEO is slightly conservative on social issues. Half of CEOs are conservative on social issues; half of CEOs are moderate or liberal on social issues.

The manuscript presents evidence that this variation in CEO social issues liberalism can explain variation in corporate political activity on social issues: Companies with socially-liberal CEOs at the helm engage more with the liberal side of social issues.