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Former McDonald’s CEO Organizes “The Boardroom Initiative” to Fight Woke Corporations

Former McDonald’s CEO Organizes “The Boardroom Initiative” to Fight Woke Corporations

“Corporations have no business being on the right or the left because they represent everybody there and their sole job is to build equity for their investors”

Many Americans have clearly had enough of large corporations pushing leftist “woke” agendas along with their product and services.

And one of those Americans, who is the former CEO of one of the largest corporations in this country, is more than annoyed. He has established a new group to counter woke corporatism.

Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi said companies have “no business” being in politics — and has launched a conservative initiative to fight “woke” corporate policies.

The 78-year-old — who led the Golden Arches from 1991 to 1997 — spearheaded The Boardroom Initiative to push back against boardrooms of American corporations that have become too politicized, Fox Business reported.

“Corporations have no business being on the right or the left because they represent everybody there and their sole job is to build equity for their investors,” the man who thought up Chicken McNuggets told Fox Business.

The initiative intends to defend shareholders and employees of public companies from “woke” policies and to ensure corporate accountability.

Its goal is to protect share holders and employees of publicly traded companies from ‘woke’ policies, which the group says imperil profits and thus betray the very shareholders who pay corporation staffs’ wages.

The Boardroom Initiative also aims to counter left-wing groups’ decision to buy up stocks in the businesses until they raise enough clout to lobby the board to adopt woke policies on issues including gender and race.

The Free Enterprise Project, an existing body which has joined forces with The Boardroom Initiative, has laid out a blueprint to tackle woke overreach.

The first target of The Boardroom Initiative is The Bank of America.

The Boardroom Initiative’s first effort is a shareholder proposal at next week’s Bank of America annual meeting calling for a civil rights audit of the racial equity policies at the company to ensure no race or gender groups are being excluded in the name of equity or anti-racism.

Bank of America is one of several major U.S. corporations to come under fire for implementing training sessions for their employees that incorporate Critical Race Theory (CRT), a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface.

Last year, Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow and director of the initiative on critical race theory at the conservative think tank, Manhattan Institute, reported that Bank of America’s Market President in Charlotte, North Carolina promoted a new initiative called United in Action, in partnership with the United Way of Central Carolinas. Rufo described the program as promoting ideas such as putting “marginalized” staff above “privileged” staff and teaching them to “decolonize” their minds.”

Maybe they can also talk to SpaceX CEON Musk about helping with the Twitter takeover.


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2smartforlibs | April 23, 2022 at 12:05 pm

O’Sullivan’s law applies at every one of these corporations. The only way it stops is to stop thinking you don’t own stock in these places. You have a retirement account you own them.

I like the McDonalds picture you used for the story. Hamburgers 15 cents. Brings back fond memories.

    Yup. Cheeseburgers were 20 cents. I remember my Mother saying: “For an extra 5 cents I’ll bring my own cheese”!

    My home town wasn’t big enough for a McDonald’s. We had an Arctic Circle and burgers were 22 cents.

      Peabody in reply to MrE. | April 23, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      Price gougers!

      henrybowman in reply to MrE. | April 23, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      My corner of RI didn’t see Mickey’s for over a decade. We had to scoot over the line to MA and console ourselves with “Burger Chef (and Jeff!)”
      Brush your teeth and say your prayers, kids! Say good-night, Jeff! Arf-arf!

        DaveGinOly in reply to henrybowman. | April 23, 2022 at 5:48 pm

        Yes, I remember one in Rumford (East Providence) on 1A (Newport Ave) just south of the horse-racing track. Up the road (in Pawtucket), just north of Armistice Blvd there was also the local pizza parlor (Pizza Palace), and almost next door, a fish and chips joint!

        WestRock in reply to henrybowman. | April 24, 2022 at 7:54 am

        The first one near I that I remember was over in Warwick, an old white and red tile one. Other than that it was Burger Chef (we were headed there for lunch a little after I watched Jack Ruby shoot Oswald).

        No school Fawstuh Glawstuh.

    pfg in reply to Peabody. | April 23, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    “Brings back fond memories.”

    Yup. It’s 1966 and we’re getting outta high school, heading off to college. It’s the McD on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury (it’s still there). Mark Z and I load up on burgers and fries. I’d typically take three bags of fries, dump them into one bag, add a bunch of salt, shake vigorously, and enjoy it all like a king.

    In those formative years this was a fun ritual.

    Yup, memories.

    NGAREADER in reply to Peabody. | April 23, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    I actually remember those in the late 60’s.

NOW (pun intended), to build domestic equity, and mitigate the progress of labor and environmental arbitrage outsourced and insourced.

The notion of stakeholder activism within a Corp and the current fad of ESG scoring are directly contradictory to fiduciary duties. If the ownership of a privately held Corp choose to make those a higher priority than maximizing returns go right ahead. However, there is zero place for this scrap in publicly held entities.

I’m very glad to see this happening. I’m guessing the “principled conservatives” like Fat Jonah and French won’t be though.

Yes! More of this
Trump taught people to fight!

Elon Musk got the snowball rolling down the hill. There is no stopping this now. There is no shortage of people who absolutely hate the wokesters and the idea that we just can’t get away from them no matter where we go or what we do. Since we can’t get away from them we will get rid of them where they live… everywhere.

You would think that McDonald’s and Disney would be sympatico since both share the same target market. This is a great development. Disney has now become the Hamburglar.

Trump got it rolling

Meanwhile, last year three renegade directors from “Engine No. 1” were elected to the board of ExxonMobil, thanks to the votes of shares held by the likes of BlackRock, Vanguard, CALPERS, and all the other usual suspects.

This year they ran for re-election with complete support of the company management. It’s barely reassuring that they only hold three seats, but it’s a tribute to their intimidation that management was afraid they’d contest the remaining seats on the board.

ExxonMobil has to decide whether it will remain an oil company or eventually be run out of business on a green agenda.

Paging Jenna Ellis…

They need to target Citigroup as well. They are doing the exact same thing. They actually announced and implemented hiring and promotion quotas 3 or 4 years ago.

Good. I’ve been preaching this for years. including here.

Two kinds of people need to be removed from corporate board rooms. First, those who have made being on corporate boards a career, who have turned board membership into a profession. Second, people who have full time, high profile jobs elsewhere, woke globalists. There’s no reason to have Mary Barra, GM’s CEO and board chairman, on Disney’s board. If I were a GM shareholder, I’d tell her to stay home and concentrate on GM’s problems of which there are many. Closer to home here at LI, indications are that Martha Pollack, president of Cornell University, has more than enough to occupy her time without sitting on the board at IBM.

The list goes on. Pick a high profile corporation, go to its web site, find the investor’s link, and open up the latest proxy. There you’ll find a list of all board members and also short, usually self-written, bios of the current year nominees. These are filled with professional accomplishments, genuine accomplishments, and a list of justifications for what makes them excellent candidates for the board. The giveaway is that some of these over achievers are in their mid- to late-fifties and haven’t been employed for five and often more years. Listed outside organizational affiliations are often a hint of what they truly bring to the board..

This is not to deny qualified people seats on boards, it is to question to motives of both the companies and their prospective board members. The recent high visibility debacles, e.g. Coke-Georgia, MLB/NFL/NCAA-Georgia, Disney-Florida, AT&T/Discovery-CNN, and now Twitter demonstrates that there is good reason for the public to be aware of these low profile, highly placed individuals who are really responsible for the behavior of these businesses and organizations.

Don’t be surprised to see proxy materials become more closely controlled, not as public, and board nominee profiles to become more vague or disappear completely. All today’s protestations of openness and ‘full disclosure’ notwithstanding, limiting or simply withholding the availability of information is a characteristic of the times. Expect nothing less when it comes to woke organizations.

COMING ATTRACTION – the next, woke, outrageously expensive, debacle . . . ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) compliance and reporting. Coming soon from a corporate flack near you, pronouncements of compliance with ‘standards’ that do not even exist, though being created from thin air at this very moment by a community of global corporate-NGO sponsors. You thought board members were difficult to watch? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.