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CEO Daily Brief – Dec. 22, 2010

U.S. Progressives Need to Work with CEOs Progressive columnist E.J. Dionne has come to a realization that most Americans who are out of work well understand (or at least they ought to.) The United States needs CEOs. Not only do they create jobs; their input on public policy allowed for many reforms to take place …

U.S. Progressives Need to Work with CEOs

Progressive columnist E.J. Dionne has come to a realization that most Americans who are out of work well understand (or at least they ought to.) The United States needs CEOs. Not only do they create jobs; their input on public policy allowed for many reforms to take place during different times in American history.

In the most recent example, President Barack Obama appears to be reaching out to CEOs and the business community in general for their input. Hopefully, he will do more than just listen.

It’s clear that with the high unemployment rate, the role of the CEO is vital to improve the American economy.

“Businesses create jobs, and a healthy business climate is one key to a healthy society,” says Dionne. “It’s a conclusion that progressives sometimes reach grudgingly. Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo ably captured this feeling in 1977 during his unsuccessful run for mayor of New York City. ‘You must be good to business,’ he declared, ‘even if you hate rich people, even if you don’t like pinkie rings, even if you can’t stand Scarsdale and Rolls-Royces.’”

Dionne backs the idea that good public policies should lead to good jobs for Americans. He explains there are companies and CEOs who want to do just that. In addition, he notes how John Judis observed, “without a business community moderately supportive of social reform, little is possible in the present era.”

The solution for the nation’s and the world’s economy is going to require political leaders collaborating with business leaders. Hopefully, the U.S. president, who was elected on calling for change, will lead the way.

For more of Dionne’s view of CEOs, from Real Clear Politics, please click here.

John Engler Named President of the Business Roundtable

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler has been named president of the Business Roundtable, an association made up of CEOs of some of the leading U.S. companies. He takes office on Jan. 15.

Engler currently is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – a job he has held since 2004, and where he has pushed for more manufacturing jobs.

“As a governor, John forged progressive public policy. As the NAM’s president, he has been an effective, articulate spokesman for manufacturing,” said Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman of Business Roundtable and chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. “He has championed U.S. competitiveness around the world – often working arm-in-arm with Business Roundtable – and has tirelessly advocated policies that create jobs in the U.S. Respected in Washington on both sides of the aisle, John has spurred NAM to grow in both size and influence, even as its members faced difficult economic times.”

Engler said he is dedicated to creating “good-paying jobs in the U.S.” and lower unemployment.

“I look forward to continuing to help Americans and the U.S. economy by pressing for policies that increase employment, expand U.S. exports, enhance quality education and worker skills and lift unnecessary burdens on businesses, such as excessive taxation and regulation,” Engler added.

The Washington Post says Engler’s appointment may illustrate a change for the Business Roundtable. It had disagreed with the Chamber of Commerce and many other business groups when it endorsed health-care legislation from President Barack Obama, according to The Post. However, the Business Roundtable has disagreed with Obama more recently on issues such as greenhouse-gas rules and increased financial regulations. Engler has proven to be bipartisan. That approach will serve him well in his new assignment.

Dell Shares Increase after CEO Michael Dell Buys Stock

Sometimes, there is nothing better for a company than to see that a CEO believes in it. He/she will actually invest their personal money into the company. And what if that company shares the last name of the CEO? That appears to be even better for the company.

The Associated Press reports that shares of Dell increased Tuesday after it was reported that Michael Dell, the company’s chairman and CEO, purchased about $100 million worth of Dell stock. Michael Dell bought 7,370,000 shares of Dell at about $13.57 apiece, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing made on Monday.

Dell’s stock increased 46 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $13.82 in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

Michael Dell is company’s top individual shareholder. He owns about 12 percent of the company’s total shares. Michael Dell last purchased Dell shares in 2008, when he bought 4.6 million shares at an average of about $20.50. He appears not to sell the stock often. The last time he sold Dell stock was in 2004.

The company has had ups and downs recently but it is confident its future. That future looks even brighter with Michael Dell investing in the computer company that bears his name. Investors, employees, customers and other stakeholders should take notice. So should competitors.

For more about Michael Dell’s purchase of Dell stock, as reported by Bloomberg News, please click here.

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