Writing in the Financial Times today, Michael Skapinker is concerned about the sustainability of corporate responsibility.
Shoemaker Timberland was acquired by VF Corporation for $2.3 billion last week. Despite pledging to maintain its positive working environment, VF executives spoke of raising profit margins from 9% to 20%. Solar panels and vegetable patches, schemes implemented by CEO Jerry Schwartz before the takeover, project a positive image, but don’t sell shoes.
The Timberland lesson: corporate responsibility can survive only if it improves the financial outcome.
Michael Skapinker is an assistant editor of the Financial Times, a columnist and the editor of the FT’s special reports. As a speaker he concentrates on business strategy, leadership and management.