If you didn’t hear the news (which is unlikely if you’re on any form of social media), the US under the thoughtful leadership of Trump and all of his brilliance has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Here is Gruber on the subject:
Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Twitter, GE, Goldman Sachs — the leaders of all these companies spoke out against Trump’s moronic decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Even Shell and Exxon wanted the U.S. to remain in the agreement. The only CEO the Times quoted who supports this nonsensical decision is from a fucking coal company.
197 countries agreed to the Paris Accord. Prior to today’s U.S. withdrawal, only Syria and Nicaragua weren’t in — Syria isn’t in because they were in the midst of a brutal civil war at the time, and Nicaragua refused to sign only because they felt the accord didn’t go far enough. Every major captain of industry in the U.S. outside the coal industry publicly asked Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Accord. It’s good for business and good for the environment.
The United States stands utterly alone on this. Trump has put the United States on the fringes of civilization.
The specifics of the politics aside, as Gruber noted, every major tech company CEO was quite vocal about their dismay with the decision except PlayStation. Now I’m honing in on PlayStation and not Sony as a whole only because, A. Kaz Hirai doesn’t tweet and B. if he did, his base is in Japan, a country that’s a major player in the Paris Agreement. PlayStation on the other hand is led by Shawn Layden from California – home of Silicon Valley, the leading green state with the largest economy of the 50 States, and is the worlds 6th largest economy. With that as the backdrop, the only comments thus far from Layden have been:
— Shawn Layden (@ShawnLayden) June 2, 2017
The tweet in reference was from the one and only, George Takei:
Disney's CEO joins SpaceX/Tesla's Elon Musk in walking away from this human wreckage of a president. https://t.co/aDqzkA1nFT
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 2, 2017
So let’s take a look at what other CEOs around the US had to say.
As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) June 1, 2017
Decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 2, 2017
Disappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 1, 2017
We believe climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. We remain committed to doing our part. https://t.co/Gfu7P2ESlL
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) June 1, 2017
As I wrote earlier today, with PS4 firmware 4.70, all services on the console gained redesigned icons which include refreshed looks for PS Vue, PS Now, and the Store to name a few. PlayStation may have once been just a division within Sony but today, they are the most important part of the company and arguably what saved them from collapse. As a result, PlayStation has never been more powerful as a brand and the services they offer continues to expand beyond just traditional consoles. This means that PlayStation is getting ready to play in a much broader market where many of the mentioned tech giants operate, and that’s encouraging.
But to play in that arena means PlayStation must grow up more to take responsibility and leadership positions on key issues like privacy and now the Paris Agreement. We sadly live in a time in the US where it’s more and more up to companies to have socially progressive policies and core values. For PlayStation, what are those beliefs that go beyond a great gaming experience? But it’s not about knowing for the sake of knowing – the more heads of PlayStation, and Sony, for that matter, speak publicly about the values they hold true, the more likely they are to gain consumer and employee trust.
CEOs of US companies routinely talk about their inability to find enough talent to fill vacant positions and that’s because the tech industry in particular is a hyper competitive field. This means that attracting talent goes beyond a paycheck and many times comes down to corporate culture and values. If PlayStation hopes to attract a better talent pool, moments like this become key as an opportunity to broadcast to their employees what they stand for. From a consumer perspective, we live in a world where we have more choices than ever and sometimes that choice comes down to aligning value systems that determine where you’ll spend your money.
If we look at every major modern brand in the past 5 years, from Warby Parker to Bombas, they each fight for a social cause like giving away a pair of glasses or socks for each one purchased to those in need. In the case of more established players like Apple, the company routinely takes time during their keynotes to talk about environmental issues they’re fighting for and it’s time for PlayStation to do the same under Shawn Layden.
Having had the chance to talk with him on a few different occasions, I can tell you he’s a CEO with strong core beliefs. I just wished we’d see more of this side of PlayStation and Shawn like we did at PSX 2016 where he took to stage to talk about the importance of accessibility.