When Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was on the show George showed Schultz a clip from Dragons' Den's Kevin O'Leary who said the role of CEOs is that "whatever comes out of your mouth should enhance shareholder value. When you get involved in political or social or religious debates you're not serving the ultimate role you have, which is to enhance shareholder value."
Schultz didn't agree with that view and referenced a difference of opinion he had with a shareholder for context.
"He’s drop dead wrong," said Schultz. "Look at the performance of our company. Our company, when I made those statements, our stock was up 38 per cent for the year. I said something with great respect and courtesy to that shareholder who was not in the favour of us providing same sex benefits to partners who were gay. And all I said to him was that we believe in respect and dignity for all people. When we have to serve millions of people who have a wide range of views on different subjects. But we also have to stand for our principles and our own core purpose. I didn’t believe the primary objective or the only objective of the for profit companies is to make a profit because I don’t think it’s a sustainable goal and something you can achieve if you are only doing that at the peril of everything else."
Howard Schultz's interview on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight airs Friday, November 1 at 7 pm and 11:30 pm on CBC.
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