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BSR Announces Leadership Transitions

Submitted by: BSR

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity1

Posted: Apr 15, 2004 – 12:00 AM EST


Aron Cramer Named President & CEO
Bob Dunn to be Chairman of the Board

Apr. 15 /CSRwire/ - San Francisco - The board of directors of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)announced today that effective August 1, 2004, Aron Cramer will serve as the organization’s new President & CEO and Bob Dunn, the current President & CEO will become BSR’s new Chairman, succeeding Arnold Hiatt, who will continue as a director.

BSR is a San Francisco-based, non-profit business organization that works with companies to help them implement more responsible business strategies and practices. BSR’s staff in the U.S., Europe and Asia provides consulting services that help companies integrate into their business operations innovative ethical, social and environmental policies and effective processes that address new requirements for business accountability and transparency. BSR’s members, which include some of the largest and most distinguished corporations in the Global 1000, comprise a unique network that provides a valued forum for learning and dialogue. BSR also engages with leading stakeholder groups to create greater understanding and innovative collaboration between business and civil society.

Cramer stated, "I am honored and excited about the opportunity to build on the wonderful legacy established by BSR’s first-rate staff under Bob and Arnold’s remarkable leadership. I look forward to leading the organization in the next phase of its development, as we work with our member companies to define, influence and implement practices so that the private sector can provide greater economic, social and environmental value to our global society and make a distinctive contribution towards the achievement of a more just and sustainable global economy."

Hiatt expressed "great satisfaction about BSR’s remarkable growth and success during the past decade, and we’re fortunate to have someone of Aron Cramer’s talents to provide leadership for our talented and dedicated staff to continue BSR’s tradition of leadership and service."

Hiatt indicated that he and Dunn advised the board they each wished to step aside from their current duties nearly two years ago. "This year marks the tenth anniversary of the partnership Bob and I forged when BSR was just a fledgling organization. Both of us felt we wished to continue to be of service to BSR, but in new and different ways."

Dunn said, "I am honored to be BSR’s new Chairman, and pleased I will also be able to continue to provide service to select BSR member companies and clients. Aron Cramer will be an outstanding President and CEO. He has the values, knowledge and experience he will need, and the respect of our member companies, staff and supporters."

Dunn called Hiatt "a model corporate leader, a tireless and irreplaceable board Chairman and a great mentor."

In anticipation of the leadership changes announced today, the BSR board and staff spent much of last year working together to create a common vision for BSR’s future. The board used this work to define the leadership characteristics needed for the next CEO. The Governance Committee then engaged in a careful process of assessing the best way to choose the next leader for the organization. "Though we began this process thinking we might wish to engage in a formal search process for a new CEO," said Committee Chair Mats Lederhausen, "when we assessed organizational needs and Aron Cramer’s credentials, all of the directors agreed he was the best person for the job." Under BSR’s governance structure, Cramer reports and is accountable to the board’s Governance Committee, which does not include the Chairman.

Over the past year, BSR conducted a thorough strategic review that involved considerable staff work, and dialogue with its member companies and with key stakeholder groups. The Board and BSR’s senior leadership crafted a strategy that will place a greater emphasis on providing forward-looking advice and direct service to companies; an increased focus on target industries and an enhancement of its capacity to work with leading global companies and their major suppliers in every part of the world.

Cramer commented that "the CSR field is still relatively young. It has grown and changed very quickly in the past several years. Our revised strategy charts a course that will strengthen our position as a trusted and valuable resource for companies as they think of innovative and effective ways to integrate social and environmental issues into their core business operations."

About BSR
BSR was established in 1992 and now has annual operating revenues of more than $8 million, a staff of more than 50 full-time employees and offices in San Francisco, Paris and Hong Kong. BSR operates one of the most widely-respected conferences on corporate responsibility, and also hosts Net Impact, a global network promoting corporate social responsibility among MBA students and the emerging generation of business leaders. BSR member companies have nearly $2 trillion in combined annual revenues and employ more than six million workers around the world.

For more information about BSR’s activities, services, and membership, visit:

Biographical Information

Aron Cramer joined BSR in 1995, and served as the founding director of its Business and Human Rights Program. He has worked closely with dozens of BSR’s member companies in numerous industry sectors, and on the full spectrum of CSR issues. For the past two years, he has been based in Paris, where he launched BSR’s Europe office. He also led the establishment of BSR’s Hong Kong office in 2001. Cramer has provided support and counsel to many of the leading CSR initiatives in recent years, including the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, and the Fair Labor Association. Prior to joining BSR, he served as an attorney in private practice in San Francisco, and at ABC News in New York. Cramer is a graduate of Tufts University, and obtained his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bob Dunn, before joining BSR, served for more than 10 years as a Vice President at Levi Strauss & Co. Before that, he spent a similar amount of time in a series of public sector assignments, working as an assistant to President Carter at the White House, as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and Chief of Staff and a cabinet Secretary under Governor Patrick J. Lucey in Wisconsin. Dunn is a graduate of Brown University and Vanderbilt Law School. Immediately after completing his law degree, Dunn was a Dean and member of the faculty at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Arnold Hiatt, the former Chair and CEO of Stride Rite Corporation, now serves as the President of the Stride Rite Foundation and as a director of numerous corporate and non-profit boards. He has been Chair or Co-Chair of the BSR board since 1992.

For more information, please contact:

Matt Hirschland Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: +1.415.984.3263


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