Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests

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Summary:
Monsanto Company is the world’s largest seed company. They specialize in genetic manipulation of organisms. Monsanto was founded by John E Queeny in 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. The company’s first product was artificial sweetener. At the start of World War 1, company leader realized the growth opportunities of industrial chemicals. In 1970’s, Monsanto had produced a chemical known as Agent Orange. Agent Orange contained dioxin; a chemical that caused a legal nightmare for Monsanto, a lawsuit was filed against Monsanto on behalf of hundreds of veterans. The repercussions of dioxin would plague the company for years. In 1981 Monsanto leaders determined that biotechnology would be the company’s new strategic focus, so in 1994 they introduced the first biotechnology product. In 1997 Monsanto spun of its chemical business as Solutia and changed its name to Pharmacia. Two years later, a new Monsanto, focused on agriculture. The New Monsanto was tainted by disturbing news about the company’s conduct. Monsanto had been covering up years of environmental pollution. A paper trail showed Monsanto had known about the pollution since 1960, but didn’t stop the dumping. Hugh Grant took over the company in 2003. But because of the scandals and stakeholders uncertainty, the price of Monsanto’s stock had fallen by 50 percent, and they lost $1.7 billion dollars. Grant knew by strategic focus on GM foods, the company would recover. Monsanto’s Pledge and Code of Ethics:

The Monsanto Pledge is to listen more, to consider their actions and their impact broadly, and to lead responsibly. The Monsanto Code of Ethics placed a special rule for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers it was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Monsanto Company stating that the Chief Executives and the senior leadership of the Finance Department must follow in addition to Monsanto’s Code of Conduct.

Because of this special rule...
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