While a growing list of American companies are pulling out of Russia in response to its continued invasion of Ukraine, some are resisting and continuing to do business in the country.
A list circulating onlinecompiled by a research team from Yale University, is considered “the most complete and comprehensive record of the corporate exodus from Russia” and is fueling calls for a boycott of brands that refuse to address the situation or suspend their operations while the unprovoked attack continues. .
The list of companies that remain in Russia with significant exposure is considerably shorter than the list of companies that have suspended operations. But that includes a few heavyweights.
Some of the top companies on the list include Pepsi, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Papa John’s. Although after the list was released, Coca Cola and Starbucks announced they would be pulling out.
Snack giant Mondelez (Oreo, Ritz, Cadbury), Kellogg (Frosted Flakes, Cheez-Its, Pop-tarts), Nestle (KitKat, Hot Pockets, Gerber, Cheerios), Kraft Heinz (Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Velveeta ) and Mars (M&Ms, Snickers, Ben’s Original) are also on the list.
Hotel chains Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels and Marriott all have establishments still open in Russia.
The list also includes companies that have large brand portfolios, including Coty (COVERGIRL, Sally Hansen, Adidas, Nautica) Unilever (Knorr, Dove, Axe, Lipton) and Kimberly Clark (Cottonelle, Depend, Huggies, Kleenex).
Accor, Bridgestone Tire, Citi, Honeywell, Philip Morris and Pirelli are among the other companies still active in Russia.
Hashtags like #BoycottPepsi and #BoycottCocaCola started trending on Twitter as the list spread across social media, according to BNC News. Actor Sean Penn even encouraged Americans to boycott both companies, as well as McDonald’s.
Not all brands have full control of their operations in Russia. Some, like McDonald’s, are owned by franchisees and the company has limited ability to control their operations, The Washington Post reported. Instead of shutting down operations altogether, some companies also announced they were suspending investments and developments in the country, The Post noted.
“I don’t think it’s as simple as saying can you just withdraw from Russia,” said Kathleen Brooks, director of Minerva Analysis. BBC. “These are complicated businesses and there is a lot to consider.”
Some analysts have argued that a company’s decision to pull out of Russia is a matter of reputation management.
“The reputational risk becomes exponential the longer you wait,” said Scheherezade Rehman, a professor of international finance at George Washington University. CNBC. “Having an export market overseas means at some point taking local currency and exchanging it for dollars or euros. You don’t want to be stuck in rubles. That’s not good business.”