June 25, 2020

Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility

As companies face the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 crisis and massive social unrest, redefined corporate purpose is center stage in a changing economic landscape. CEOs are trying to protect their workers, maintain business continuity, and make decisions in the context of significant economic uncertainty. When faced with this relentless unpredictability, how can a company maintain clarity about its societal purpose? On June 25 at 10:30 a.m. ET, Washington Post Live will gather top voices in business, including Intel CEO Bob Swan, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Suzanne Clark, Bombas CEO and co-founder David Heath and Goodr CEO Jasmine Crowe, to discuss the role and responsibility of CEOs and companies during a time of chaos and crisis.
Intel has pledged to double the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership by 2030. CEO Bob Swan said the company will be transparent in its progress toward this goal. “Today we have roughly 18% in senior positions. Our goal for the next decade is to in fact double that…Our intentions going forward is every year we will communicate on an annual basis how well we’re doing against those goals.”
  • Jun 25
When asked if there are any moments in his career that were missed opportunities to address inequality and racism in America, Intel CEO Bob Swan said that he was “a little bit oblivious” to what was going on. “It’s no longer an option to stand on the sidelines…I’m in some ways embarrassed and shocked about the events that have been going on in the U.S….I’m embarrassed to say that as a country, I thought we had made much more progress than we have. In some sense, I haven’t taken the opportunity in the past because I was a little bit oblivious to what was really going on. “
  • Jun 25
Bombas co-founder and CEO David Heath said when addressing diversity within a company, it starts at the top. “As a company that was founded by four white men, I had to confront a lot of the privilege that I was never really directly or comfortable enough with to own…I was raised in a time where we were not supposed to see color, and we were not supposed to point out the differences in people. By not doing that, that’s benefiting white people, particularly white men…In order to progress the conversations like racial inequality, you have to have the difficult, awkward conversations.”
  • Jun 25
While discussing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Summit on Equality of Opportunity, Chamber president Suzanne Clark said it’s important that companies understand the problems affecting their community in order to take action. “We know what a job means to a community, what it means to a health outcome, what it means to a family…If we can understand those barriers…Then we can enact true private sector solutions and government action to create real change. And that is the goal, action.”
  • Jun 25
Goodr takes surplus food and delivers it to people in need. With many restaurants closed or operating under a reduced capacity, CEO Jasmine Crowe shares how the pandemic has affected her company’s model and how her company is leveraging other resources to make sure no one goes hungry.
  • Jun 25
Goodr CEO Jasmine Crowe says being a person of color leading a company during rising racial tensions in the United States is one of her biggest stressors right now, not the coronavirus pandemic. ‘It’s a scary time to be a person of color leading a company and wondering how the people you’re trying to sell to really feel about you, and that’s been the biggest stressor for me right now.’
  • Jun 25
Bob Swan
CEO, Intel
Robert (Bob) H. Swan is chief executive officer of Intel and serves on its board of directors. Before being named CEO on Jan. 31, 2019, Swan was interim CEO for seven months and was chief financial officer, where he oversaw Intel’s global finance organization, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, information technology, and the company’s Corporate Strategy Office. Swan joined Intel in 2016 from General Atlantic LLC, a global growth equity investment firm, where he served as an operating partner working closely with the firm’s global portfolio companies on growth objectives. Before joining General Atlantic in 2015, Swan spent nine years as CFO of eBay Inc. Earlier in his career, he served as CFO of Electronic Data Systems Corp. and TRW Inc., and as CFO, COO and CEO of Webvan Group Inc. He began his career at General Electric, holding several senior finance roles during his 15-year tenure. Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., Swan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo and his MBA degree from Binghamton University. He serves on the board of directors at eBay and previously served on the board of Applied Materials. He is married and has two children.
Jasmine Crowe
CEO, Goodr
Jasmine Crowe, an HBCU alumna, is working to make the world a better place by reducing food waste and ending hunger. Through her years of work feeding vulnerable populations, she saw a great opportunity for technology to solve a real problem - hunger. In January of 2017 she created Goodr, a tech enabled sustainable food waste management company that enables the safe and efficient delivery of surplus food from businesses that have it, to people that need it. Goodr’s mission is simple- Feed more, waste less. Today Goodr's clients include: SAP, Atlanta's Hartsfeild Jackson Airport, Netflix and many more. In the height of COVID-10 Goodr made a pivot to get food directly to people and is approaching over 2 million meals served in 90 days.
David Heath
CEO and Co-Founder, Bombas
David Heath is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bombas. Prior to the 2013 launch, David dedicated two years to rigorous product testing and refinement to create the best performing and most comfortable sock, while staying true to their mission of helping those in need. David has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, NBC TODAY Show, The New York Times and more. He was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.
Suzanne Clark
President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Suzanne Clark is President of the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest business federation in the world. Ms. Clark focuses on strategy, government relations and market innovation working in support of its more than 3 million member companies internationally. She leads a wide range of policy and operational initiatives at the quarter billion dollar organization, and was the first Senior Executive Vice President in the institution’s 104-year history. Prior to re-joining the US Chamber in 2014, where she had previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Clark acquired and led a prominent financial information boutique – Potomac Research Group (PRG) – which was recognized by the Inc500 as the 135th fastest growing private company in 2012. PRG became a brand leader in the field of policy research and analysis for institutional investors – connecting “Washington to Wall Street;” and, the firm was sold to a larger macro research organization where she is a non-executive partner. As a seasoned business owner, Ms. Clark remains passionate about the need to create an environment where companies can innovate, grow and flourish.
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.
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