By Alan Murray and David Meyer
September 4, 2018

Good morning.

Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh has a column on Fortune this morning calling on business leaders to take a stand on gun violence. “As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously,” he writes. “While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.”

The company is establishing a fund to provide $1 million in grants to nonprofits and youth activists, providing double matching grants and 60 hours a year in paid volunteer time to employees who want to support these groups, and teaming up with Michael Bloomberg to form Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. He’s asking other CEOs to join the effort.

Bergh knows how controversial this path may be for the jeans maker. Two years ago, after he penned an open letter asking customers not to bring guns into the company’s stores, he received threats to himself and his business. He told me this weekend that “this is not without some risk to the business.” But as a former army officer trained in military weaponry, he says he is all too aware of their destructive power. He ends his piece with a quote from Gen. Michael Hayden: “There are some weapons out there frankly nobody should have access to. And actually, there are some people out there who should never have access to any weapons.”

Separately, I caught up yesterday with former Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, who this weekend was appointed special adviser to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Liveris is high on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his effort to transform the Saudi economy. “I have been around him an enormous amount of time. He is young, very energetic, enthusiastic, ambitious, smart, but clearly knows what he doesn’t know. He recognizes what he needs to do, which is not only bring the economy and country into the 20th century, but into the 21st century.”

News below.

Alan Murray


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