Wachtell Lipton prefers to add an extra “E” at the front of ESG to signify the importance of employees’ growing voice and clout inside of companies. The Wall Street Journal’s Joann Lublin tackled an important subject this week that addresses that “E” head-on, and looked at how companies are addressing the issue of bringing working mothers back into the workforce amid resurgent COVID-19 cases, remote schooling, and other related issues. The Journal cites Census Bureau data showing an alarming side effect of the pandemic – working moms leaving the workforce and not coming back. Companies are taking steps to address the issue, including offering more flexible schedules. Amazon and Goldman Sachs have reported promising results from programs known as ‘returnships’ that are geared particularly toward working mothers.
After companies were largely quiet following the Texas abortion law, more executives are speaking out. Salesforce came out with a strong stance against the law and even offered to help relocate employees out of Texas. Match Group also joined in showing its disapproval and created a fund to help those affected by the law. The mixed response highlights the ongoing struggle companies face with what to say and when to say it on controversial societal issues. Salesforce and Match decided better late than never.
Finally, the business world knows Elliott Management as the largest activist hedge fund but every now and again its private equity chops hit the headlines. This week, Bloomberg reported that Elliott and Veritas Capital are seeking to sell Athenahealth Inc., a company the two purchased for $5.7 billion in 2018. After combining Athenahealth with a Veritas portfolio company, the two are reportedly seeking an asking price of more than $20 billion.
Have a great weekend,
Mike and Chris