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CEO Activism: 5 Business Leaders Using Social Media To Take A Stand

Business leaders have enormous capacity to make a difference. When Marc Benioff, CEO of multi-billion dollar company software Salesforce, published an op-ed in the New York Times and said it was time for change, people listened. In fact, 76 % of people say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose it.

Globally, 63% of people agree that CEOs should regularly communicate directly to the public using social media. People not only want to hear from business leaders, they expect them to leverage their leadership role as a force for good and use it for aims that transcends their company’s bottom line. When you have the ability to impact millions, you have to be willing to use your platform to inspire and influence.

These 5 leaders prove that they’re not just business people, they’re activists. They’re not afraid to take a public stand on social media and voice their opinions.

Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify

Tobi makes his purpose straightforward and to the point — there’s too much carbon in the air and he’s going to do something about it. And that something is the Shopify Sustainability Fund, where Shopify has committed to spending at least $5 million USD annually to fight for the environment.

Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code

Reshma is an activist who wants to change the face of tech. She uses her platform to raise awareness of the gender gap in technology. Her company, Girls Who Code, is leading the movement to inspire and educate girls with the tech skills needed to flourish in the 21st century. She was even included on a list of best diversity advocates to follow on social media.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

If there’s a social CEO who’s vocal about social and political issues, it’s Marc. He uses his platform to support a variety of causes but is particularly passionate about equal pay and more importantly, he backs up his words with action. He’s shown his commitment to ensuring that all genders are paid equally for equal work.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Sherly is an activist for female empowerment. She uses her platform to inspire and influence women and is vocal about women’s rights. She even founded a nonprofit organization, LeanIn, that’s dedicated to offering support and inspiration to help women achieve their goals and works towards creating an equal world.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Tim has continuously supported DACA recipients, Dreamers, over the years and is showing no signs of backing down. He’s one of many business leaders who are increasingly taking a stand against politics and seeking to represent the interests of their employees and customers.

These leaders are not only taking a stand, they’re also backing it up with action. As CEO activism rises, we’re certain that the list of leaders using their social platforms for good will continue to grow. Who is a business leader you admire? Let us know in the comments!


Are you a business leader using social media to inspire and influence? The CSuites are the first awards dedicated entirely to recognizing business leaders doing exceptional things on social media and digital channels. Apply here for a chance to get featured in national press and win amazing Hootsuite prizes for managing your social presence!

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