Following Russian president Vladimir Putin ordering the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, major companies are continuing to withdraw from Russia in droves as the conflict endures. Despite this, over three dozen companies with significant exposure to Russia have yet to take curtail their dealings with the country.
- With Russia's invasion of Ukraine having resulted in numerous sanctions and increasing public scrutiny, hundreds of companies have withdrawn from the country.
- The combined impact of the sanctions, which led to the value of the Russian ruble plummeting, and the corporate exodus has serious hurt Russia's economy.
- As of March 10, 2022, 325 companies have either suspended or scaled down their dealings with Russia.
- Many of the companies that have exited Russia are among the biggest in the world in terms of revenue, including Amazon, Apple, Volkswagen, Toyota Motor, and Samsung Electronics.
- There are currently 37 companies with significant exposure to Russia that have yet to curtail their operations within the country.
A Corporate Exodus Begins
The Russian ruble had hit record lows by Feb. 28, 2022, after multiple countries, including United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland, began ramping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. These sanctions effectively cut off Moscow’s major financial institutions from Western markets and made it nearly impossible to do business in Russia.
Amid this backdrop, several companies began looking to exit Russia. By Feb 28, only several dozen companies had announced their departure from the country. However, as public pressure continues to mount, that number has since skyrocketed as many companies feared the effect continuing to do business with Russia would have on their corporate image. Alongside the aforementioned sanctions, reversing three decades of investment has had significant impact on Russia's economy.
Companies Curtailing Russian Operations
According to the list compiled by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, as of March 10, 2022, 325 companies have either suspended or scaled down their dealings with Russia. In addition to several banks, stock exchanges, and other prominent financial companies, this list includes 10 of the biggest companies in the world by revenue, these being:
- Amazon: $457 billion
- Apple: $378 billion
- Volkswagen: $303 billion
- Toyota Motor: $291 billion
- Samsung Electronics: $279 billion
- Alphabet: $257 billion
- Mercedes-Benz Group: $194 billion
- BP: $183.5 billion
- Royal Dutch Shell: $183.2 billion
- ExxonMobil: $181 billion
The extent to which these companies have distanced themselves from Russia varies. A great many have either exited the country completely or suspended all operations, sales, services, or shipments. There are others on this list that have only suspended a portion of their dealings with Russia or have promised not to engage in any new business or investments.
In response to the ongoing corporate exodus, Russia's ruling party, United Russia, announced on March 9, 2022 that a government commission had approved the first step toward nationalizing assets of foreign firms leaving the country.
Additionally, Sonnenfeld and his team have identified 37 companies that still possess significant exposure to Russia and have yet to curtail their operations within the country. This exposure can include a large number of employees/locations being based in Russia and/or the country accounting for a significant percentage of revenue.