CECP Marks the Passing of Titan of Business, Government, and Giving Back

Co-Founder of CECP Shaped Conversation on Business’ Role in Society
Feb 9, 2015 4:30 PM ET

NEW YORK, February 9, 2015 /3BL Media/ - CECP honors the lifetime impact of its Founding Director and Honorary Co-Chairman John C. Whitehead, who was Former Co-Chair, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. He was instrumental in founding CECP in 1999--along with Paul Newman, Peter L. Malkin, Walter Shipley, and other business leaders--a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance, an idea that was antithetical to conventional beliefs of the time. 

Whitehead was honored last February at CECP's annual Board of Boards​ as the first Lawrence A. Wien Force for Good Legacy Award recipient.  

Whitehead is credited with setting ethical standards on Wall Street, including drafting a set of revolutionary business principles while working at Goldman Sachs, with a focus on shared responsibility to clients, colleagues, and the community. As a result of his tireless work, including 15 unwavering years with CECP, Whitehead provided the impetus for companies to think more broadly about their impact as a force for good.

"CECP is saddened by the news of the passing of John Whitehead,” stated Doug Conant, Chairman, CECP; Chairman, Avon Products; Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership; Former CEO, Campbell Soup Company. “His long-standing commitment to and leadership of CECP, as well as many other incarnations and causes, was transformative in defining corporate societal engagement and giving companies the business case for engaging with communities.”

“John Whitehead agreed at my request to be the first Honorary Co-Chair of CECP, soon thereafter joined by David Rockefeller and Paul Volcker,” stated Peter L. Malkin, Chairman Emeritus, Empire State Realty Trust. “I was privileged to serve with him on the Harvard College Board of Overseers, on which he was President at the time. In both capacities, as in his corporate leadership and public service, he set the highest standard and led by exceptional example. The world is a better place because of John and because of the many who learn from and who strive to emulate him.”

Current CECP CEO Daryl Brewster added, "John is a legend in the business world, a true force for good. He is a major reason I joined to CECP and a leader to whom we can all aspire."

Each year, CECP hosts an internship bearing the Whitehead name, which focuses on special projects that advance the field of corporate societal engagement. This year, the focus will be on analyzing the impact of CECP’s work with 150 companies in the coalition. Past interns have credited the opportunity with shaping their careers. 

As reported by The New York Times, Whitehead devoted much of his time to nonprofit causes, which he considered "noble". CECP is grateful for his service and his leadership role in expanding the traditional notions of philanthropy. His foresightedness can be credited for the billions in corporate skills and resources that are invested today around the world to solve tough societal challenges.



CECP is a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. Founded in 1999 by Paul Newman along with Peter L. Malkin, Walter Shipley, John C Whitehead, and other business leaders, CECP has grown to a movement of 150 CEOs of the world’s largest companies across all industries. Revenues of engaged companies sum to $7 trillion annually. A nonprofit organization, CECP offers participating companies one on-one consultation, networking events, exclusive data, media support and case studies on corporate engagement. For more information, visit http://cecp.co.