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PayPal's CEO Dan Schulman: "Capitalism Needs an Upgrade"

Fast Company

Stakeholder capitalism has become both a flashy buzzword and a lightning rod for political division.

Despite these headwinds, many business leaders still believe it’s an important framework for navigating our current moment. They argue that companies exist to serve a range of stakeholders—including consumers, employees, society, and the planet—rather than just growing their stock prices and the bottom line.

But in recent years, this mentality—and the so-called ESG (environmental, social, and governance) policies it’s birthed—have been increasingly politicized.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman is a vocal advocate for this sort of “moral” leadership, but he knows it is fraught. “We live in an extremely divisive country right now,” Schulman told the crowd at Fast Company‘s Innovation Festival in New York on Tuesday. “There is no way that any of us who have major consumer brands can avoid the cultural wars.”