“This is a time when people need trusted brands”
Bloomberg Businessweek|May 18, 2020
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Carol Massar, the good-business champion behind consumer brands from Dove to Ben & Jerry’s shares how the pandemic is strengthening his resolve
By Carol Massar

CAROL MASSAR: Which stakeholders should corporations be prioritizing right now: employees, communities, shareholders, or customers?

ALAN JOPE: We’ve been operating a multistakeholder model for about 10 years. We believe that if we look after our employees and our customers, if we worry about society and the planet, if we take care of our supplier partners, then our shareholders will be well rewarded.

Ultimately you have to look after all these stakeholders. But it for sure begins with your employees. You know, without showing authentic care for your employees, I don’t do anything as the chief executive of this company. It’s our front-line people who are making the goods, who are serving our customers. So that, for me, is where it starts.

Does business get harder the longer this goes on?

Yes, it does. We’ve got about 150,000 employees on payroll; about 70,000 of us are office-based and working from home, while an additional 50,000 are in factories. We’re very conscious that for some people working at home is liberating and for others it’s absolute torture.

Millions of people are now unemployed. How do we teach new skills to workers whose jobs may never come back?

Retraining is something that we’ve been busy with for a long time. We are actually stepping up our digital-learning activities, and people understand that if you have a moment where you’re not at full capacity, use it to sharpen your skills.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

Is the Future Of the Internet In This Van?

Tarana takes a $300 million shot at providing wireless internet that can rival fiber-based networks

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

THE DOGESTOCK GENERATION

Get-rich-quick trading is partly about entertainment, but it’s having a very real impact on markets

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

Private Equity Wants You

Managers of buyout funds are looking for more money from individual savers

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

The Chip King Faces The Crunch

TSMC has mastered the business of semiconductors, but staying on top of the politics is only getting trickier

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

Too Cool for School

Making enemies of the wrong parents has been hazardous to Juul’s health

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

For Crypto, The Price of Success May Be Regulation

Governments could finally target the anonymity that makes Bitcoin a haven for hackers

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

Decoding the Price Signals

What’s real, what’s transitory, what’s base-effect distortion? Let’s cut through the noise

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

India thought it had the virus beat. The virus had other ideas

Governments around the world keep repeating the same mistakes. In a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences are on a whole new scale

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

China's Next Export: Inflation

With prices rising at the factory gate, consumers abroad may wind up paying more

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

Hype Man

Chamath Palihapitiya—tech billionaire, Golden State Warriors co-owner, and all-around meme lord—has a sure-thing, 100%-can’tmiss investment for you that will definitely, absolutely pay off for him

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021