According to Brunswick Insights, corporate executives are out of step with broader public sentiment related to engagement on social issues. Specifically, "only a minority of voters (36%) agree unequivocally that companies should speak out on social issues, compared to 63% of corporate executives."
Bill Flaig, CEO of American Conservative Values ETF (ACVF), is not surprised. He thinks political speech by senior executives hurts shareholder value.
"It's actually very undesirable activity," says Flaig. "It's those people using their position in the company, giving them a voice to put their personal views ahead of what's best for the shareholders. It's dangerous."
The report notes that CEOs "vastly overestimate" how much their woke virtue signaling matters to the average American, as only 39% of voters believe making statements on social issues is effective for executives.
"I hope it reinforces the point that there is this disconnect and the executives are not acting in the shareholders' best interests," says Flaig. "It seems like the shareholders are aware of it, according to this survey."
"We've said time and time again that getting political will only hurt a company's bottom line and that of their shareholders," adds ACVF co-founder Tom Carter. "Going woke for the sake of appeasing the progressive Twitter mob might satisfy one sect of the population, but as a CEO, you'll only alienate customers and employees."
Carter concludes that this report demonstrates in no uncertain terms that any CEO who continues to force their company into politics is placing their own political agenda ahead of maximizing shareholder value.