When Immediate Financial Goals Clash with Long-Term Purpose, What Gives?

by Sarah Bostwick Stromoski, Manager, CEO Leadership, CECP
Apr 7, 2020 8:00 AM ET
Blog

COVID-19 has made the going considerably tougher for business in 2020. We don’t know yet precisely how each purpose-driven business leader will net out after this tumble-dry cycle. Prominent chief executives such as BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Sanofi’s Paul Hudson, and Regeneron’s George Yancopoulos have said publicly they keep their eyes firmly on the company’s purpose as their north star, and the money takes care of itself.

As much as I love to hear chief executives say purpose doesn’t change with the wind (or the virus), Hyatt Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian’s more tepid recent remarks intrigued me more. The man whose hotel business is being tossed about on COVID-19’s pitchfork candidly admitted he faces a “conflict between our purpose as a company, which is to care for people, and the things we have to do because we are charged with ensuring the financial future” of the company.

In every moment of great crisis, business leaders have felt the tug-of-war; they’re feeling it now and they’ll feel it as the virus runs its course. Hyatt during COVID-19 serves as a real-time case study of when a company’s short-term financial goals seem at odds with its purpose and stakeholders’ interests seem to diverge.

Read the full post on the CECP Insights blog: https://cecp.me/34ekHz3