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Yale researchers release running list of companies still operating in Russia


As Russia continues its aggressive invasion of Ukraine, more companies, states and other entities have started pulling their business from Russia. Now one expert has put together a comprehensive list of companies that remain in the country. 

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute put together a comprehensive list of all the companies that remain operating in Russia to date. Sonnenfeld’s team continuously updates their list to reflect changes as companies assess their business operations in the country. On Tuesday alone, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo announced they would be suspending all business activity in Russia.  

Sonnenfeld appeared on CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street” Monday and explained companies continuing to operate in Russia contradict sanctions that the U.S. government has placed on the country, saying “the idea of these sanctions is to put pain on to the economy, we’re not trying to figure out how to advance the Russian economy right now.” 

According to Sonnenfeld’s latest list, 29 companies are currently still operating in Russia, which includes Nestle, Hilton hotels, Marriott hotels, Papa John’s pizza and Kraft-Heinz, among others. 

At the same time, more than 200 companies have withdrawn from Russia, including Apple, Airbnb, Disney, General Motors, IKEA and Netflix. 


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New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a letter to mulitple companies, including McDonald’s, PepsiCo and cosmetic brand Estée Lauder, to reconsider operating their businesses in Russia. DiNapoli banned any new investments in Russian companies on behalf of the state’s Common Retirement Fund and mandated a review of the fund’s investments to determine if any financial risks warrant a disinvestment. 

“We believe that companies that continue to operate in Russia and invest in Russian assets face significant and growing legal, compliance, operational, human rights and personnel and reputational risks,” said DiNapoli in his letter. 

The most prominent cry for withdrawal from Russia has been Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who told CNN “all western companies must withdraw from Russia” on humanitarian grounds.  

Kuleba said to continue operating in Russia is “simply against basic principles of morale to continue working in Russia and making money there. This money is soaked with Ukrainian blood.” 

For some brands there isn’t a clear and immediate path to cut off business in Russia, like for Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. In a statement, the company said it has approximately 1,000 KFC restaurants and 50 Pizza Hut locations in Russia, nearly all of which are operated by independent owners under license or franchise agreements.  

However, Yum! Brands has suspended all investment and restaurant development in Russia and is directing all profits from its Russia operations to humanitarian efforts. 


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