Are CEO’s responsible to shareholders or stakeholders?

I love this question but wonder whether I am naive – the answer seems obvious to me (although making it happen will be harder).

The responsibility to shareholders as the primary beneficiaries is currently enshrined in legislation which is created by legislators to serve society (supposedly). When this legislation no longer serves the needs of society we can either put pressure on corporations to do more than the legislation requires, or society can put pressure on the legislators to change the law.

It’s interesting that corporations seem to have become a law unto themselves, but with sustained pressure we can change the legislation as has happened in the USA with B Corporations legislation which allows corporations to serve stakeholders not just shareholders. Bring on this option in Australia I say!

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