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Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi, a man reportedly credited with the development of the chain’s famous Chicken McNuggets, is now busy leading a coalition designed to push back against “woke” corporations.
Called The Boardroom Initiative, the coalition includes three conservative advocacy groups — The Job Creators Network, The Free Enterprise Group, and Second Vote — led by Rensi, its executive chairman, according to Fox Business Network.
“Rensi … [said] he doesn’t consider himself to be politically active, but wants to act in the best interest of shareholders who he believes are being negatively affected by progressive policies that infiltrate everyday life in corporate America,” the network reported Wednesday.
“Corporations have no business being on the right or the left because they represent everybody there and their sole job is to build equity for their investors,” Rensi told Fox Business Network in his own words.
He explained his philosophy further in an op-ed for Fox Business. He started by zeroing in specifically on Disney, which has chosen to publicly side against Florida’s widely supported Parental Rights in Education bill, much to the company’s demise.
“Disney’s shareholders are the real losers of this controversy. Since this bill passed Florida’s legislature, Disney’s stock is down about 10 percent as investors worry that the company will face political and consumer backlash for its woke stance. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already threatened Disney World’s special self-governance exemptions in the state due to its criticisms,” Rensi wrote.
He added that every corporation needs to take heed.
“The broader lesson here for corporate America: Stay out of culture wars. Hundreds of major American companies have taken a stand on public policy issues in recent years. For instance, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Starbucks, Netflix, and General Motors, have opposed state laws over the past year to enhance ballot integrity,” he explained.
“These positions threaten to alienate customers and harm shareholder value. Companies can’t just dip their toe into these issues. Once they’ve waded in, activists will expect them to take a stance on every forthcoming topic. The only solution is to stay out altogether unless the policy proposal directly affects their bottom lines.”
He continued by noting that it was by focusing on relevant matters that he’d managed to achieve “remarkable growth” at McDonald’s, where he’d served as CEO from 1991 to 1997 after rising up from the bottom.
“When I was McDonald’s USA CEO, we achieved remarkable growth and substantially rewarded our shareholders by focusing solely on delivering a great product at a great price. Our philosophy was direct: We wanted everyone to be a customer for life. We neither had the time, nor the inclination to discuss social issues that we knew would alienate roughly half of our customers and threaten this strong performance,” he wrote.
“By focusing solely on performance, we routinely hired and promoted women and minorities of all backgrounds. We empowered franchise spouses because it made good business sense, not for political reasons. Countless minorities and women became millionaires due to our merit-based approach,” he continued.
A biography of Rensi published by the Premiere Speakers Bureau notes that he joined McDonald’s “in 1966 as a grill man and part-time manager trainee.” In 1972, he became a district manager. Then he became a regional manager, then regional vice president, then vice president of operations and training, and so on until he became CEO.
During his earlier years at the company, he “spearheaded” the “development of” McDonald’s famous Chicken McNuggets, McChicken sandwiches, McGrilled Chicken Classics, McRibs, Extra Value Meals, fresh-tossed salads, etc.
The Boardroom Initiative’s first target appears to be the Bank of America, which has been busted indoctrinating its employees in racial essentialism.
Bank of America, Lowe’s sponsor ‘woke’ training instructing white employees ‘cede power to people of color’ https://t.co/35ZXbUuNqI
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) August 21, 2021
“The Free Enterprise Project currently owns around 2,000 shares of Bank of America and is therefore able to advocate for such changes on behalf of other shareholders. The Boardroom Initiative’s first effort is a shareholder proposal at next week’s Bank of America annual meeting calling for a civil rights audit of the racial equity policies at the company to ensure no race or gender groups are being excluded in the name of equity or anti-racism,” according to Fox Business.
Writing in his column, Rensi explained that the proposal specifically “asks the company to commission a civil rights audit of its diversity policies, so shareholders can see if it is incorporating woke hiring and employee training methods that could threaten financial performance.”
“Divisive training methods, such as those based on Critical Race Theory, discriminate based on race in the name of ‘anti-racism.’ They sow employee discord and increase financial risk, about which shareholders deserve to know. Many other American companies, including American Express, Verizon, Pfizer, and CVS, already incorporate discriminatory employee training programs,” he added.
Rensi rightly calls it “woke capitalism” and warns over and over again in his op-ed that any business plan that places “wokeness” over profits is destined to fail. Of course, some companies are going to have to learn this the hard way …
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