More ‘woke’ companies are going to fail, former CEO warns: SVB collapse was ‘perfect storm’

Former longtime CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder said Wednesday he’s concerned about how decisions are being made by so-called “woke” company executives after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Puzder, a Heritage Foundation visiting fellow, said he believes problems will crop up at many other businesses that have not been focused on merit-based hiring.


ANDY PUZDER: What the G in ESG is supposed to be is governance. And if all you’re focused on is climate change and trying to hire people for your qualifications other than their merit, their qualifications, or their character, if you’re not focused on how your company is governed and run, if you’re just focused on being woke, you’re going to have problems. And these are the kinds of problems that arise. I think we’re going to see this in a lot of other businesses, a lot of other sectors if we don’t get back to our historic focus on how corporations are run and hiring people based on merit. 

[…] They misjudged the impact of interest rates on their investment portfolio and their customers, they misinterpreted their companies, their customers’ needs. They were woke and they had a regulator that was woke and really didn’t do its job. So it was a perfect storm for a bank failure and that’s what we ended up with. 

Puzder was asked about the head of financial risk management at Silicon Valley Bank UK having spent the months leading up to the bank’s collapse launching and leading LGBTQ campaigns for the company.

Jay Ersapah, the head of financial risk management, organized a month-long pride campaign, a space for employees to share their coming out stories, and co-chaired the European LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, as the bank was at the brink of collapse.

Meantime, only one member of Silicon Valley Bank’s board of directors reportedly held previous experience in investment banking, while others were Democratic donors.

Fox News’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report. 

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