When Trump-supporting CEOs backtrack in fear

Headshot image of Herman Cain
Published by: Herman Cain on Friday February 17th, 2017

Nothing good happens.

When the CEO of Under Armour publicly said something nice about having a businessman in the White House, he got some negative backlash from some of his star athlete endorsers and other company constituencies.

The CEO then tried to "walk back" and explain what he meant.

Wrong!

You can't lead in fear!

What I would have done as a CEO is to have information sessions with my employees first, to explain to them how President Trump benefits the economy, which benefits our company. These benefits allow us to grow as a business and maintain and enhance your jobs, and pay the celebrity endorsers to help us sell more stuff.

I would then make sure the board of directors understood the connections, to help them weather negative criticisms and knee jerk reactions to anything Trump. I would also remind them that as a company we do not exist to make political statements through our actions or products. We are here to enhance the value to its owners, the stockholders.

Macy's Department Stores dumped its Trump-branded merchandise in 2015, and by early 2016 its stock market value had dropped by more than 50 percent. Maybe it had nothing to do with this anti-Trump decision, but what a coincidence.

This anti-Trump hysteria is not going to go away anytime soon. But CEOs should not run their companies afraid of political backlashes, or they will be whip-sawed into failure.

Let consumers of your products decide your fate as a business, not the lens of the liberal media or the anti-Trump hysteria.

Ultimately, it's your call Mr. or Mrs. CEO.

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