CU Communications Discussion

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I think everyone can agree that the events taking place between Russia and Ukraine are intense and the actions of Russia have not gone unnoticed or unpunished by countries around the globe. Many businesses, nations, and individuals have spoken against Russia and have cut ties with them through sanctions and removal of service to the country. I am not planning to go into great detail regarding all the companies that have halted operations in Russia, but I would like to highlight and discuss some businesses who have been in the news due to their lack of action.

Businesses like Exxon have been questioned in recent new articles as to why they have not spoken out against Russia. As of this week on Tuesday, Exxon has now taken action against Russia with plans to cease production of oil in Moscow (CNN, 1). But before Exxon officially spoke out against Russia and halted operations of its Sakhalin-1 project in the country, many other oil and gasoline giants in the world had already cut off ties.

Exxon’s lack of initiative was referenced negatively in the articles I found, but once they made their official statement and decision to cut ties with Russia, the articles published were positive. In the time before Exxon denounced Russia, the negative comments from the media and the impact were prominent. Forbes wrote an article stating that those companies who had not decided of whether or not to end business with Russia were creating, “various crisis situations… ranging from damaging headlines to boycotts by consumers and vendors…” (1). Another well-known business news source, Bloomberg, published an article regarding companies like Exxon who were still riding the fence. The writer of the article warns that if action were not taken by Exxon soon, the Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods could be “grilled by analysts Wednesday during the company’s annual strategy presentation to Wall Street” (1). Although the article has not been updated to show this, I would assume that since the decision by Exxon on Tuesday to remove themselves from Russia was carried out that the CEO was able to avoid at least some of the “grilling” that was awaiting him on Wednesday. This does not mean that shareholders are completely satisfied with the current situation and future outlook of Exxon – that is something that will have to be examined in the coming weeks.

The opinions of individuals who read the articles published about Exxon’s lack of initiative to denounce Russia and then their decision to cut ties could go either positive or negative. Some may believe that the only reason Exxon cut ties is because of customer and other company pressure to do so and not because they truly disagree with the actions of Russia. Others may think that Exxon just taking their time and looking out for their employees in Russia. Either way, according to the current stocks, Exxon is not hurting from this decision to remove themselves from Russia but are gaining. Shares have increased in the past few days after the decision, and there wasn’t much of a budge in stocks dropping when the pressure from other businesses was on. Overall, I am certain that we will have more information in the coming weeks regarding the events in Russia and Ukraine and the effects of companies leaving the country in droves.

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