According to a report released on Friday by the Yale School of Management, since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine last month, more than 450 companies have announced they are leaving Russia.
But the report’s authors, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of management practice at the school, and Steven Tia, director of research for the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, stressed that although foreign companies are rapidly leaving, some “have continued to operate in Russia undeterred.”
The report created five categories to classify companies still active in Russia, which are “Digging In,” “Suspension,” “Scaling Back” and “Buying Time.”
Some of the companies classified as “Digging In” are the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, the U.S. Koch Industries, French multinational retail firm Auchan, Turkish Airlines, the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International and the German construction company Knauf.
The Yale academics issued the defiant companies a grade of F, stating, “When this list was first published the week of 28th February, only several dozen companies had announced their departure.”
“Hundreds of companies have withdrawn in the days since, and we are humbled that our list helped galvanize millions around the world to raise awareness and take action,” they added.
In an article for Fortune magazine on 17th March, Sonnenfeld and Tia said, “Our list provided a much-cited ‘hall of shame’ that guided the voices of employees, customers, and investors seeking to show their disapproval. We have been told that our list of companies leaving and staying in Russia did provide courageous CEOs with the confidence to execute bold pronouncements.”
“Companies that remain engaged in Russia have unconsciously echoed the strategic defense of those German executives from Hoechst AG I.G. Farben, and Flick convicted at Nuremberg or the misguided leaders of Woolworth’s, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, and others for their ‘constructive engagement’ with Hitler’s Germany into the Second World War,” they stressed.
The UK’s Sun also headlined its article, “EU’s Shame: France and Germany dodged Russia arms embargo to sell weapons to Putin, that are now being used to slaughter Ukrainians.”
“Paris sent bombs, rockets and explosives, as well as thermal-imaging cameras for 1,000 tanks and infra-red detectors for jets. Berlin sold what it called ‘dual-use equipment,’ including rifles, “special protection” vehicles and icebreaker vessels, and Rome provided armored cars,” the article claimed.