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Anti-ESG activist investor urges Apple and Disney to refrain from politics

Wednesday September 21, 2022. 06:46 PM , from Mac Daily News
Anti-ESG activist investor urges Apple and Disney to refrain from politics
Activist investor Vivek Ramaswamy, who via Strive Asset Management has been a sharp critic of so-called environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is urging Apple and Disney to abstain from engaging in political discussions and stop making employment decisions while taking an individual’s race, sex, and/or political opinions into account.

Strive Asset Management’s STRV is a passively managed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that seeks broad market exposure to 500 of the largest US publicly traded stocks. Apple (AAPL) is the fund’s current top holding.
Allison Prang for The Wall Street Journal:

Ramaswamy, who recently launched Strive Asset Management, said Disney should no longer take public positions on political issues that aren’t related to the company’s core business. The letter cited how Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek took a stance on Florida’s parental rights in education bill.
“Disney must act now,” Mr. Ramaswamy wrote in his letter, dated Monday. “If Disney continues speaking out on political issues that do not affect its business, it will face even greater pressure to act when they do. And the sides Disney will be expected to take won’t be the ones that are favorable to its business.”
In a separate letter to Apple, Mr. Ramaswamy pushed back on the company’s plans to conduct a racial-equity audit and asked the tech giant to make all hiring decisions without taking into account political beliefs, race, or sex.
Mr. Ramaswamy is the author of “Woke Inc.,” a book that argues companies shouldn’t be swayed by politics. Strive Management’s main fund, focused on energy, has $320 million in assets.

MacDailyNews Take: Amen.
Getting the absolute best people should remain Apple’s ultimate goal. Forced diversity carries its own set of problems. Would the group be comprised of the best-qualifed people possible or would it be designed to hit pre-defined quotas? Would some employees, consciously or unconsciously, consider certain employees, or even themselves, to be tokens meant to fill a quota? That would be a suboptimal result for Apple and everyone involved.
The best and desired outcome is for the quest for diversity to work in Apple’s favor. Truly looking at qualified people from a larger pool would likely result in delivering different viewpoints and new ways of looking at things and tackling problems than a more homogenized workforce would likely be capable of delivering.
Regardless and of course, someday it sure would be nice for everyone to just be able to evaluate a person’s potential, not measuring and tabulating superficial, meaningless things like skin color and gender.
How do we ever get to the point where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” when we insist on judging people by the color of their skin? — MacDailyNews, December 31, 2015
Some people have said that I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans… so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff. — Apple CEO Steve Jobs, August 25, 2004
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The post Anti-ESG activist investor urges Apple and Disney to refrain from politics appeared first on MacDailyNews.

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