Chobani’s First Corporate Affairs Chief Sees a Reckoning on CSR Issues in 2021

CSR

Editor’s Note: CNN viewers likely know Cristina Alesci, a business reporter on the network and a writer on its news sites since 2014. In turn, Alesci knows CEOs, having interviewed dozens, from Howard Schultz to Jamie Dimon. She also interviewed Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani. More important, her 2015 CNN story was about the refugees Chobani employs. “He was not only hiring great people; he was saving them...helping people break down the barriers to a better life in America,” Alesci says.

The story hit Alesci, the daughter of immigrant parents, hard. Late last year she left CNN and joined Chobani as its first chief corporate affairs officer, reporting to Chobani president and COO Peter McGuinness. She leads external and internal communication, government and community relations, social impact and philanthropy. In addition, she’s part of the company’s executive leadership team.

When we mention authenticity, she responds, “I was offered a lot of positions. This is the only one that spoke to my values...

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