Massive Escape: Behind the US Unprecedented Power Show of Companies Against Putin’s Invasion

In the last two weeks, hundreds of large corporations with substantial ties to Russia have withdrawn from the country in a devastating invasion of Ukraine. Human rights are important for large-scale escapes.

Companies in all industries, from Credit Suisse and BP to UPS and Activision Blizzard, have stopped exporting and capitalizing in Russia. This follows the strict US sanctions imposed on the country’s energy and financial sector. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have closed hundreds of offices, stores and manufacturing plants based in Russia, despite potentially billions of dollars in economic loss.

However, according to a huge public list compiled by Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management, dozens of prominent companies still involved in the Russian economy in the face of huge public pressure are in a publicity storm. I chose to survive.

Notable among them are major hotel and resort chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Accor, and food chains and manufacturers such as Nestlé, Cargill, Mars and Papa Johns. Other examples include pharmaceutical companies AbbVie, Bridgestone Tire, Ferragamo, Dow Chemical Company, John Deere, and tobacco maker Philip Morris.

Related: Soaring prices and wheat shortages: how the Ukrainian invasion is affecting the world’s food supply

For example, Hilton operates at least 29 hotels in cities such as St. Petersburg, Moscow and Volgograd, and according to its website, Hilton’s service brand told Hotel Management in 2016. “We opened the first two hotels in 2008 and six more by 2014. In the first half of 2016, Hilton became the leading international brand to open hotels in the Russian market.”

Hyatt, one of Hilton’s biggest competitors, operates six locations in Russia. When asked about the company’s operations there, a company representative led the salon to a statement on Wednesday, announcing that the company would “stop” immediately. [its] Development activities and new investment in Russia. “

“We continue to appreciate hotel operations in Russia, hoping to resolve this crisis, while complying with applicable sanctions and U.S. government directives,” the company added, adding that the current state of the Russian location remains unchanged. I suggested that I should.

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Philip Morris, whose stock price fell 10% shortly after the invasion, took a similar stance, promising to “stop planned investment in the Russian Federation, including new product launches and investments in commerce, innovation and manufacturing.”He also said, “I vowed to reduce the scale. [present] However, Philip Morris did not provide rollback details or timeframes. According to Seeking Alpha, Russian consumers accounted for 8.4% of the company’s cigarette shipments and more than 17.1% of heated tobacco units in 2021.

At the same time, many multinationals are surpassing expectations in escaping the Russian economy, despite the prospect of sharp economic loss.

American Express, Mastercard and Visa have completely stopped their domestic services and can no longer use cards issued by Sberbank. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC (collectively Big Four accounting firms) have announced their plans: Closed office based in Russia. Restaurants such as McDonald’s and Starbucks have closed all stores in Russia. This effectively closes operations in hundreds of locations.

Related: Corporate America has withdrawn from Georgia’s counter-voting bill after funding its sponsors.

Anthony John Draw, CEO of Reputation Economy, a reputation management consultancy, said the response of American companies to the Russian invasion was a major shift from past public relations efforts.

“When I returned to Georgia’s voter law, when I returned to George Floyd … there was no government leadership. Even if the government wasn’t doing or saying anything, the company had to say.” John Draw added. “The government is working as one to respond to this, so companies are moving forward. [back in] Their normal role is not to lead it, but to follow those things. “

In most cases, companies seem to be clued by recent developments in multilateral sanctions against Russia, including those imposed by the United States.

Earlier this month, the Treasury sanctioned Putin, 11 senior government officials, and a number of Russian oligarchy. The Biden administration also imposed sanctions on the country’s central bank, banning Russia’s imports of oil, natural gas and coal.

According to John Draw, the U.S. government regularly uses sanctions as the first line of defense to prevent international conflicts from afar, but Biden’s recent sanctions are the speed and depth of many U.S. business leaders. Shocked.

“Everyone was expecting … a gradual increase in sanctions. [sanctions] “I was really shocked to get online very quickly,” said John Draw. “It’s usually the speed of slow-moving decision bureaucrats … [are] Companies are moving much faster than they’ve ever seen. “

Related: Biden promises to impose sanctions on Russia and stops before Putin

Over the past few decades, corporate America is increasingly expected to focus on justice issues, along with US minority rights, under constant threat from Republican-led districts, cities, and states. In recent years, critics have said that the contribution of the private sector was a symbolic gesture that was nothing more than a window dressing.

According to the Washington Post, during the height of the George Floyd protest in 2020, for example, 50 of America’s largest companies invested about $ 50 billion to deal with racial inequality. Many of these companies were strongly condemning racism at the time, but Salon reported that many were repeat donors to the police foundation. This will allow police stations to raise slash funds for an off-the-shelf initiative with a history of “enabling state-sanctioned violence against black and color communities.” According to the change report, even Corporate America’s $ 50 billion pledge was mostly “allocated as a profitable loan or investment,” according to the post. In fact, about 0.14% of the money went to the Criminal Justice Reform Group.

Related: When big companies pose for racial justice, they continue to fund police

Nonetheless, the unprecedented response of American companies to Russia’s aggression prepares large companies to revisit their role in mitigating domestic and global conflicts, especially under public and government pressure. It may indicate that there is.

According to a Morning Consult survey last month, about 75% of Americans support the retirement of the private sector from Russia. Nearly four in ten believe that companies should permanently break their ties with the country.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who spent 40 years studying CEO leadership and corporate governance, told Salon that Corporate America’s actions over Russia’s aggression were “notable.”

“The early moves took action rather than etiquette, and they were some of the sectors that were unlikely to start first,” he said in an interview.

However, it remains unclear how Corporate America will resume operations in Russia, and many companies are concerned about the possibility of re-entry, Sonnenfeld said, with six people who primarily supported the decision to withdraw. Mentioned a recent conversation with a well-known CEO. ..

“Part of the reason [businesses] The stay is only afraid that they will have difficulty re-entry. Because they have the remaining malice of being portrayed as anti-Russian to the general public, “he added. If Mr Putin and his successors succeed in the legacy of the resentment of the general public, it will be generalized to all Western companies and it doesn’t matter if you withdraw. “

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