Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A President Pierces the Corporate Veil

Yeah, and I can't believe Liberace was gay. I mean, women loved him! I didn't see that one coming. 

I realize that I'm late to the Chick-fil-A story but I finally read an article about what Chick-fil-A did to draw the ire of the gay community. Before this, I had formed an unfounded position that Chick-fil-A executives had been using their own money and not company money to support groups advocating traditional marriage. I didn't think Chick-fil-A executives would use money from Chick-fil-A itself to support traditional marriage groups, but I was wrong.

According to a L.A. Times story, Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to traditional marriage groups. I was stunned that a corporate executive would donate company funds directly to groups that are an anathema to the cultural elite. I thought for sure the Chick-fil-A president would have gone through the trouble of using personal funds to support traditional marriage groups. I'm sure the man would have gotten in trouble anyways had he taken that route, but at least he could have separated the controversy from his business. Further, he could have used the "corporate veil" defense to support his position.

One reason people incorporate a business is to separate their business activities from their personal, "the corporate veil." This compartmentalization shields owners' personal life and assets from any issues from the business side. But this wall is not impervious and can be breached. And when this happens, the owners are said to have "pierced the corporate veil."

I am amazed the company president has mingled his personal views with the company's mission after all the effort it took to incorporate the company. I'm reminded of a Michael Jordan quote when someone asked him   why he didn't make any political endorsements: "Republicans buy shoes too." Well, Mr. Chick-fil-A president, gay people buy chicken sandwiches too.

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