Five hundred companies have withdrawn their business from Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine, but some companies have continued business as usual.
Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute are tracking how many businesses have withdrawn and which are still operating in Russia. The team assigned each business letter grade, from A to F, based on their level of operations in the country.
Sonnenfeld says the list has helped CEOs convince their boards to join responsible business leaders in leaving Russia, but that he has refined the list over time. The new list, with five categories, reflects that some businesses in the “asset-light” sector have an easier time withdrawing completely than, say, automobile or tech companies with large workforces in Russia or investment-intensive manufacturers.
But other companies, particularly those in the last three categories, he says are using the idea of withdrawal, the necessity of their production of “essential” goods, or “humanitarian commitments,” as a smokescreen while continuing substantive business operations.