CEO’s React to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Publish On : March 1, 2022

Flag of Ukraine

Below are comments and thoughts from current and past CEO’s from around the world on the topic of the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

FedEx Founder Fred Smith

“Europe is a huge part of the FedEx network. We serve every company in the world except the five prohibited by law. We have a daily flight into Kiev, and triple seven airplanes flying over Russia all the time.

“The actual economic effect (of Ukraine) is pretty small. In large measure, this whole thing is about energy…It’s going to be punishing for European consumers. And oil is fungible, so American consumers will feel it as well. We are going to have a lot higher gas prices.” (Read here how one analyst says the price of oil may hit $140 a barrel.)

“With higher gasoline prices being a de facto tax on the American consumer, you are going to see spending negatively affected. And then the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates…So what you will see is a reduction in GDP. 2022 may not be the barn burner GDP growth that everyone was expecting.”

Noubar Afeyan, Chairman, Moderna; CEO, Flagship Pioneering

“I am from Armenia, which was formerly of the Soviet Union. I spend a lot of time in Russia… What worries me a lot this morning is that I think this is a much longer-term plan. Putin is having a midlife crisis. This is a plan to go into the history books as a world order leader. I really worry that if there was a .001% chance of a real broadening of this war a week ago it’s now a 3% to 4% chance, which if it were cancer you would take very seriously…(and) there is a massive governance problem globally. Basically, governments can’t govern.”

Laura Newinski, Chief Operating Officer, KPMG

“It’s very unclear how politically we are going to be able to come together and make a difference here.”

Bob McDonald, former CEO, P&G

“It’s easy to start a war, harder to end one. I don’t think (Putin) has a good plan for ending the war, and that worries me.”

Colin Lawlor, CEO, SleepScore Labs

“The pandemic resulted in improvements in sleep for almost the entire population… The one group we see that has substantially dis-improved in sleep quality is the Gen Z group. What it feels like to that group, I’m sure, is we have crisis after crisis after crisis… This is just another crisis. We have to look after that Gen Z group and do something significant to make sure we don’t have a much bigger mental health crisis.”

Rachel Hodgdon, CEO, International WELL Building Institute

“We know that the majority of the population has suffered some degree of trauma as a result of the pandemic.  Climate is a big issue. These end up getting layered one upon one, and what we are facing is just a profound loss of psychological safety… We will spend far more this year treating mental health than we will treating COVID, and yet we are dedicating way less attention to it.”

Adam Schechter, CEO, Lab Corp.

“Short-term, with what happened this morning, we have hundreds of people in Ukraine and Russia and I want to make sure they are safe. In the medium term, there are going to be significant issues with inflation, the price of gas and the price of oil. But I believe we should be optimistic about the long term. When you look at science and innovation, I’ve never been more excited. I’ve never seen science and technology coming together like this in a way that we can change the world.”

Former President Bill Clinton

“Putin won’t stop until it costs more to do it than he has to pay… World War III would mean that Putin would no longer be the richest person in the world, and wouldn’t have all that money. I doubt that it will go that far.

“He may think we are too corrupt to stay the course. Not financially corrupt, but not believing enough in anything anymore.”

Content courtesy of Alan Murray, CEO of Fortune Media

Recent Posts