A run of bad luck?
Some companies are having trouble holding onto staff. Senior staff. The Financial Times reports that Adidas, the German sportswear giant, has lost its only female executive board member Amanda Rajkumar, global head of HR, who will leave the business next week.
There are still women on the company’s supervisory board, but no longer among the execs. Other senior female staff have been leaving too, which may possibly say something about the environment for women at Adidas. You decide.
Is the ESG toxic bunfight slowly making its way from the US to the UK? It seems some fear that it is.
First piece of evidence: Gary Nagle, chief executive of Glencore, is quoted in the Financial Times, saying that there’s too much focus on ESG in Europe. “That’s a concern for us,” he says.
This week, Eva Barboni, chief executive of Atalanta, a comms agency, published a letter in the pink one, worrying about the arrival of ESG conflict on these shores and what to do about it. She says there are signs “investors are starting to get spooked”.
Barboni calls on asset managers to get on the “front foot demonstrating the positive impact ESG investing can have, and proving that social and environmental responsibility can go hand in hand with strong financial performance”.
Last week, we reported BlackRock chief Larry Fink deciding to no longer use the term ESG because it had been “weaponised”. Let’s hope the poison really isn’t over here.
Looking around for help during these uncertain economic times? The Institute of Internal Auditors says it knows who to call. Yes, it’s… internal auditors.
A survey shows 56% of internal auditors see the risk from economic uncertainty being “high to very high”.
Internal auditors are being asked to assess risk management, cost-saving measures and supply chain risk assessment.
Anne Kiem, CEO of the institute, says: “During these more risky, uncertain, and volatile economic times, boards and internal audit teams need to forge a strong partnership. Working closely together will ensure they can diligently and effectively identify, manage, and mitigate the long list of risks exacerbated by economic uncertainty. Greater collaboration can help ensure that the organisation is resilient enough to weather the economic storm and support greater preparedness for unforeseen economic shocks in the future.”
Well, that’s nice. You’ve been serving on a board and then someone comes along to say your executive colleagues want you out? Galling.
But it seems, in the US, this situation might not be at all unusual. A survey by the PwC Governance Insight Centre finds that nine out of ten executives believe one or more of their colleagues should, to put it politely, move along.
Furthermore, only a third could say their boards asked “probing questions”, and a paltry fifth say their boards “spend enough time fulfilling their responsibilities”.
The PwC team write: “At a time when executives are looking for more input from their boards, many executives lack confidence in their board’s ability to ask probing questions or make decisions consistent with the company’s purpose and values.”
That all seems to be going well.