Big Business Takes Major Step Back From Politics As Trump And Biden Head For Rematch

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Big businesses appear to be taking major steps back from politics compared to the 2020 election ahead of the contentious November rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

While many corporate executives weighed in on divisive political issues during the previous cycle, some expressed fatigue to the WSJ over engaging in 2024. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a recent memo that he didn’t want the corporation to “fight over disruptive issues or debate politics” following employee protests over the Israel-Hamas war, adding that “we are a workplace,” according to the outlet.

“We’ve seen how emotional politics leading up to an election can be,” Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy & purpose officer at Cisco Systems, told the WSJ. “[What] I would say to a leader is, ‘Be there to support your people.’ I don’t think it’s wise for us to encourage some of the debate because it is just so personal.”

Evan Smith, CEO of Altana Technologies, told the WSJ that he isn’t planning on commenting on politics during all-company meetings.

“The workplace is not the forum for working out all the political issues of the country or the world,” Smith told the outlet. “We have a mission. And everyone is at will, signed up to make the mission happen.” (RELATED: Big Business Scales Back ‘Diversity’ Initiatives As Legal Pressure Mounts)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

WeBuyHouses.com put policies in place to solve disputes following office incidents during previous election cycles, including a situation in 2016 regarding employees’ sentiment around Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to CEO Jeremy Brandt.

“I love to talk about politics,” Brandt told the outlet, “but if somebody doesn’t want to talk about these topics they should never have to talk about them—ever—in the workplace.”

Nick Pinchuk, CEO of the manufacturer Snap-on, is focused on redirecting political conversations ahead of the 2024 rematch with Trump and Biden by asking employees who they think will win rather than opining himself, according to the WSJ.

“You can talk about that like you talk about a football game,” Pinchuk told the outlet. “They could say, ‘Well, I hope President Biden wins, but I think Donald Trump’s going to win or vice versa.’ And so I think that’s a way to engage on this without getting involved; you can have the enjoyment of discussing the context without getting emotional.”

Some companies that previously engaged in election initiatives have also signaled pulling back, according to the WSJ.

For instance, e.l.f. Beauty launched a massive digital and social media effort in 2020 to encourage those registered to vote, the WSJ reported. While the cosmetics company still plans on allowing employees to take time off to head to the polls, it has yet to roll out a similar get-out-the-vote campaign, Chief People Officer Scott Milsten told the outlet.

Instead of engaging in get-out-the-vote efforts as many previously did, SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. told the WSJ that some CEOs “are saying, ‘Listen, if you don’t know that an election is coming up, your head has to be in the sand.’”

The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 rematch between Trump and Biden indicates the former president is leading by 1.2 points for a head-to-head matchup. Trump is also ahead in the seven crucial battleground states that will likely decide the election — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Neither Trump’s campaign nor Biden’s immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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