At age 80, Barry Diller has been CEO of Paramount Pictures and then started Fox Television. Now the head of the travel company Expedia, he’s had enough of ESG and is saying so.
Diller dismisses the proliferation of environmental, social, and governance standards from corporate boards as fodder for “glossy reports.”
“Most of ESG is virtue signaling, I’m afraid,” Diller told a travel conference last week, saying the time when ESG standards promoted by BlackRock and other firms are “above criticism” should end. While some ESG goals have value, most are “truly empty calories.”
Bravo to Diller for speaking out on an issue that has silenced far too many corporate honchos. In addition to maximizing wealth, a company can do far more to promote environmental and social causes by earning higher returns and hiring more people of all races and ethnicities.