DanJones 10/3/2016 | 11:31:59 AM
Re: No brainer Yeah.
cnwedit 10/1/2016 | 12:23:05 PM
Re: No brainer If you listen to Stephenson's speech, he is saying it's time to start a conversation and that starts with him. Taking your head out of the sand on something like this should not be controversial. As he notes, AT&T already has a very diverse employee population and it is to the company's benefit for them to be able to work together.

To me, the real crux of the issue is at the end, when he says tolerance is for cowards, that different folks with different opinions need to talk to each other respectfully and understand each other, even if it makes them uncomfortable.

That's where progress is made, one-on-one, not in public forums or even message boards. 

This is what real leadership looks like. Stephenson is starting the conversation that has to happen if we are to move forward. 

mendyk 10/1/2016 | 11:28:18 AM
Re: No brainer Politics and business is a volatile mix, and one that can blow up slightly -- not exactly a development that advances shareholder interest, which is kind of Job 1 for a CEO. This is why most business leaders prefer the relative anonymity of donations through PACs and such.
inkstainedwretch 9/30/2016 | 8:38:51 PM
No brainer Corporations are people, my friend. Which means they have civic duties too. Backing up a significant segment of their employees and customers seems to me to be doing the right thing. Respect to Stephenson and Legere.

-- Brian Santo
Duh! 9/30/2016 | 8:21:30 PM
Re: Should CEOs get involved? The have to make a distinction between speaking for themselves (like showing up at a fundraiser) and speaking for the company (in an internal meeting). One requires business justification, the other requires only decency.
DanJones 9/30/2016 | 8:13:48 PM
Re: Should CEOs get involved? I kind of hope they had to speak up despite being CEOs, you know? Maybe that's naive...
Duh! 9/30/2016 | 8:10:05 PM
Re: Should CEOs get involved? It's usually not a great idea for CEOs of large corporations to get involved in controversial social issues.  The other side is always going to be offended and take their business elsewhere.

There is a solid business justification, though.  The issue touches on Diversity and Inclusion. CEOs hear a lot of that from their Chief Human Resource Officers: it's a major topic in HR World. There are plenty of slide decks that make a convincing case that Diversity and Inclusion is good for business.  Stephenson's speech would be expected to improve Engagement (another big HR topic - "Do you feel that the company cares about your concerns?") among African-American employees. 

It may alienate some customers, but a boycott seems unlikely -- especially if the mobile business presents a unified front.
DanJones 9/30/2016 | 7:08:26 PM
Re: Should CEOs get involved? I defintely think it makes sense to be this forthright personally when the majority of your workforce are residing in the US, and are a diverse bunch. I also think this election cycle is driving people to stake out positions they wouldn't normally feel the need to elucidate.
Mitch Wagner 9/30/2016 | 7:01:28 PM
Re: Should CEOs get involved? Extraordinary statement from Stephenson. I can't remember an incident where a CEO for as big a company came out so loudly on such a controversial issue. 

Well, other than Tim Cook on LGBTQ rights. But (a) Apple is different and (b) Cook has a personal stake in that one. Still, he was right on that issue and it took guts for him to do it. 

This statement makes me want to switch to AT&T. 

And Stephenson has put his finger on exactly why "all lives matter" stinks. 
DanJones 9/30/2016 | 6:22:03 PM
Should CEOs get involved? What do you think?
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