The Views Expressed in this Blog…

The battle over Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal opposing the government’s health reform proposals is still burning hotter than the hills around Athens.  This classic contretemp (boycott/no boycott) illustrates the fallacy of the idea that any opinion expressed by a CEO can be effectively handled as a private opinion in the age of Web 2.0.  Tom Monaghan, Domino’s Pizza founder, has been a supporter of anti-abortion organizations, leading to college boycotts before he sold the company.  Jeff Swartz, pro-Israel CEO of Timberland, has prompted hostility to Timberland by advocates of the Palestinians.  Henry Ford had his own special brand of personal opinion and produced a newspaper to air his views.

Even if your CEO doesn’t offer Henry Ford level toxicity, the truth is that there are only two strategies for dealing with these situations: the first is to tough it out, the second to muzzle your CEO permanently.  In the age of the Internet, in which hostility is always “on,”  the former is probably easier to practice than the latter.  But don’t waste a lot of time whining about the right to a personal opinion.

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One Response to “The Views Expressed in this Blog…”

  1. Phil Lozen Says:

    Interesting piece, and Monaghan hasn’t owned Domino’s for more than 10 years now.

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