Published December 10, 2020 by Tom Porter

Business Leader Kenneth Chenault ’73, H’96: “We’re Fighting for the Soul of America.”

Kenneth Chenault ’73, H’96 said America’s business and political leaders need to step up and speak out against President Trump’s behavior, which he said is threatening the soul of the nation.

Chenault is the former CEO of American Express, now chairman and managing director at venture capital firm General Catalyst and board member at Airbnb, Berkshire Hathaway, and other companies. He shared his thoughts with President Clayton Rose in a wide-ranging conversation earlier this month.

“There are core values of character and behavior fundamental to our nation that I don't think we're emphasizing enough,” he said, “and I think that President Trump's behavior clearly is damaging to our democracy.”

While criticizing Trump’s obfuscation of the truth and promotion of so-called “fake news,” Chenault said it was also important to bear in mind that 74 million Americans voted for Trump and warned against making those people feel disenfranchised.

Chenault addressed a number of issues during the conversation, including diversity in the boardroom and how to aid a post-pandemic economic recovery, for which he recommended a “Marshall Plan”-type program for rural and urban areas.

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