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Aflac’s CEO On Not Ducking Social Responsibility: CEO Daily

October 10, 2019, 9:43 AM UTC

Good morning.

Four things you need to know about Aflac CEO Dan Amos, who came by Fortune‘s offices last week.

First, he is one of the longest serving CEOs in the Fortune 500—having held the job for 30 years.

Second, his employees love working for him, which is why he has made Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list for the last 20 years.

Third, three-quarters of the Columbus, Ga., company’s business comes from Japan—the result of a smart business move made a half century ago.

And third, he’s responsible for the duck, which has to be one of the most successful advertising campaigns in history…if also annoying. “We only had 5% name recognition,” he says, “and we jumped to 90% in three years.”

Amos fully endorses the Business Roundtable statement on corporate purpose put out in August. But for him, the focus on social benefit isn’t new. His father and uncles, who founded the company, believed “if you take care of your people, they will take care of the business.”

“If you really do social responsibility in the correct way,” Amos says, “it improves the image or the brand of the company, and in addition to that, it ultimately boosts the bottom line.”

A good ad campaign also helps. You can see Amos’ interview with Susie Gharib here. More news below.

Alan Murray
alan.murray@fortune.com
@alansmurray

TOP NEWS

Apple and China

Apple has yanked a Beijing-criticized app from its App Store. The app, HKmap.live, showed protestors in Hong Kong where the cops were. Apple said it pulled the service because it endangered law enforcement, after Hong Kong's Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau said it was being used to ambush police and threaten public safety. However, Apple also reportedly agreed to pull the app of the U.S. publication Quartz, which had been reporting on the protests. Wall Street Journal

Chinese Visas

If you're planning to visit China and you have ties to "anti-China groups," you may not be getting in. The country is reportedly planning tighter visa restrictions on U.S. nationals with such links, in retaliation for restrictions imposed from the other side. Targeted individuals will typically be employed or sponsored by U.S. intelligence or human rights groups. Reuters

Huawei Licenses

The White House has approved licenses for some U.S. companies—it's not yet clear which companies—to do limited business with Huawei again. The licenses haven't been finalized yet, and the move seems to be a good-will gesture ahead of the U.S.-China trade talks that begin today. WSJ

Tech Tax

The OECD has made proposals for getting tech multinationals to pay more tax. Under the plans, giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google would need to pay corporate tax even where they have no physical presence. In the absence of a tax agreement at the OECD level, many countries are pressing ahead with national plans to achieve the same result—a fragmented situation that is adding to trade tensions. BBC

AROUND THE WATER COOLER

California Blackout

Embattled utility PG&E has turned off the power for 20 Californian counties, in a planned blackout aimed at hedging against wildfire risk brought by dry winds. Bay Area Council VP Rufus Jeffris: "We believe this reflects a stark new reality for California as the state grapples with the impacts of more extreme weather—wildfire, flooding, drought and storms—resulting from climate change." Washington Post

Livestreamed Shooting

Christchurch wasn't the end of it. Another far-right shooter has gone on a rampage, livestreaming his actions online—this time, on the game-streaming service Twitch. Two people were killed in the apparently anti-Semitic attack outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany. Twitch has removed the footage, but it is of course already available elsewhere. Fortune

Trump and Giuliani

Yet another claim about presidential misdeeds: Bloomberg reports that in 2017 President Trump asked Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state at the time, to pressure the Justice Department to drop a case against a client of Trump's lawyer and pal, Rudy Giuliani. Tillerson refused. Bloomberg

Biden on Impeachment

Joe Biden has for the first time backed the impeachment of President Trump, having previously only backed the House's inquiry into alleged abuses of power. Biden: "In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts…To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached." CNBC

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.