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When Should CEOs Speak Out?

Many corporate leaders are overcoming their hesitancy about wading into divisive social issues. Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld offers some guidelines for when and how business leaders should weigh in.

A black megaphone labeled "CEO" in gold
  • Providing Childcare for First Responders 

    The childcare provider Bright Horizons, founded by Linda Mason ’80, has pivoted to open centers for the children of first responders. Mason says that however devastating the impacts of the pandemic, there are reasons for hope and pride in this crucible moment.

    A teacher with a mask and a group of children
  • Guiding Family Firms During a Pandemic

    Seán O’Dowd ’03 of Silvercrest Asset Management, who works with family firms, says that while conservatively managed businesses are well positioned to handle an ordinary crisis, even well-run small-and medium-sized firms need help from the government right now.

    An illustration of images from a variety of industries
  • Investing in Vietnam’s Future

    Venture capitalist Eddie Thai ’12 says that the pandemic is doing economic damage to Vietnam’s globalization-driven tech sector, even as some companies in his portfolio see their valuations grow.

    An illustration showing volatile financial results through boats on the ocean
  • Manage Your Team with Empathy

    Laszlo Bock ’99, CEO of Humu, says that right now, checking in on how your team members are doing is is the most important thing you can to keep your organization productive.

    Graphic showing empathy in business
  • Keeping a Close Eye on Local Governments’ Finances Can Improve How they Govern 

    Yale SOM’s Anya Nakhmurina found that fiscal monitoring policies, which require a state office to review local governments’ finances, boosted municipalities’ financial health and reduced corruption convictions of local officials.

    A city hall building
  • Anti-Asian Racism Exposes the Model Minority Myth

    Yale SOM’s Michael Kraus and Eunice Eun argue that anti-Asian bias provoked by COVID-19 reveals the ongoing influence of racism in the country.

    Members of the Asian American Commission hold a press conference.
  • How Should the U.S. Government Respond to COVID-19?

    On March 12, a group of public health experts assembled by Yale SOM’s Dr. Howard Forman released a proposal for a set of emergency public health, healthcare, and emergency support measures to respond to the growing COVID-19 outbreak.

    Federal officials testifying about the response to COVID-19 at a House Oversight Committee hearing on March 12, 2020. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
  • Suzanne Lagarde ’14 on Giving Back

    We talked with Dr. Suzanne Lagarde ’14, CEO of Fair Haven Community Health Care, about delivering healthcare to those who need it most.

    Dr. Suzanne Lagarde at Fair Haven Community Healthcare
  • The Jack Welch That I Knew

    Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of GE, died on March 1. Yale SOM leadership expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who knew him for decades, writes that Welch was flawed but brilliant, an innovator and icon of industrial imagination.

    Jack Welch
  • Jane Mendillo ’84 on Partnership

    Jane Mendillo ’84, a member of the board of directors of General Motors and the former CEO of the Harvard Management Company, on how her partnership with her husband, Ralph Earle ’84, has formed the foundation for her life and career.

    An illustration of couple showing each of their careers