In this issue

Charting a New Course

John Chidsey has both depth and breadth to his 25-year career. Currently the CEO of Subway, the privately owned franchiser of Subway sandwich shops, he was formerly the chairman and CEO of Burger King, a public company. He helmed Avis and Budget car rental companies and Jackson Hewitt, a tax-preparation firm. Prior to that, he was in management at PepsiCo. He also worked in private equity between his positions at Burger King and Subway. When he took his most recent position, he stepped down from the board of casual dining company Brinker International.

Two views — Reopening Risk: What are the legal liabilities?

Many states have begun lifting the emergency orders issued to reduce COVID-19 transmission rates. Governors in these states are making calculated decisions, weighing the risks of a spike in infection rates against the risks of further economic decline and other adverse effects of lockdown orders. But corporate directors may not solely rely on these political decisions for protection of their business decisions.

Two Views — Reopening Risk: What are the legal liabilities?

The world is facing an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis. Our rules of social and business interaction are in flux. Markets gyrate wildly on random news. In some ways, stockholder lawsuits seem misplaced. A board should be safe legally if it acts sensibly in “reopening.” However, it is important to differentiate the unavoidable risk of a baseless lawsuit from the avoidable risk of a meaningful suit posing a real prospect of liability. Here are a few questions that highlight current issues raised by the pandemic.

Retaining Top Talent and Building Bench Strength

When the history books chronicle the performance of corporate America during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re likely to detail which captains of industry were wearing a swimsuit when the tide went out, to borrow a phrase from investor Warren Buffett.

Where Does ESG Fit in Times of Crisis?

Business, legal and governance journals are replete with articles illustrating how crises reveal the true character of companies and their leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest sparked by deadly police brutality against minorities confirm that this adage holds just as true when it comes to a company’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. For example, has the company stood by its commitments to reduce its carbon footprint, or did the lure of cheap oil and gasoline prove irresistible when the economy began to sputter?

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