Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack’s announcement that the company will stop selling assualt-style rifles was an inspiring move that more CEOs should look to emulate, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management Jeffrey Sonnenfeld told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” this week.
“We have seen that there are 20 companies that have severed their ties with the NRA, it’s a pretty inspiring moment,” Sonnenfeld said. “In this case, I think business is going to rally. It’s a watershed moment.”
Dick’s joined Walmart and other corporations in publicly reacting to the escalating public debate over gun control in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead. Dick’s also called for elected officials to ban assault-style firearms, raise the minimum age to buy guns to 21, ban high-capacity magazines and accessories such as bump stocks, require universal background checks include mental health information and police records, create a universal database of individuals banned from buying firearms and to close private sale and gun show loopholes that waive background checks.
Sonnenfeld said that while companies that take a stand and support gun control efforts may face boycotts from those who oppose increased gun regulations, that would pale in comparison to being on the wrong side of history on this issue.
“We’re exaggerating the size of this industry. It’s not that big, and the boycott of being on the wrong side is much more significant than the boycott of promoting this,” Sonnenfeld said.