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CLT Alliance convenes top Fortune 500 CEOs for 2022 Economic Outlook

At the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance® Annual Outlook conference Wednesday, some of the top Fortune 500 CEOs convened, offering their economic outlook for 2022, their candid thoughts around the return to work, and the lingering challenges faced by companies and corporations.

The panel featured Marvin Ellison, Chairman & CEO, Lowe’s Companies; Lynn Good, Chair, President & CEO, Duke Energy Corporation; and Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO, Bank of America, Corporation.

“All of us are trying to figure out how to position our businesses in a way that makes sense for our customers and investors,” Good said. “Finding a way to adapt is just part of the job.”

The panel, moderated by Chris William, executive producer and moderator of Carolina Business Review, explored the ways companies are adapting at a critical inflection point in the pandemic. Charting a clear path forward has been a moving target for many companies, the CEOs agreed. Most said their plans and practices will continue to evolve in 2022.

“The reality is, there was no choice; now, there’s a choice,” Moynihan said. “What happens next is going to be far more interesting.”

The conversation shifted to the challenge and importance of employee retention. All agreed that flexibility must be part of the new work model.

“You have to give prospective employees a reason to join you, and you have to give current employees a reason to stay,” Ellison said.

Ellison, Good and Moynihan all still see value in-person work.

“We have lost something from working remotely, and we don’t even remember it,” Good said. “My hope is that we reignite the power of coming together and innovating.”

Moynihan spoke at length about the challenges faced by the newer members of the workforce.

“If for the first 3 years of your career you hadn’t met your boss face to face, would you be as successful?” he asked the room of about 450 onlookers who attended the event.

As the region continues to look to the future, Moynihan offered his take on what will help the economy grow faster.

“The Fed has to move back and let the natural economy take control,” Moynihan said. “Inflation is in the system.”

Moynihan said he believes right now the public is “flooded” with money, and according to his company’s research, bank accounts are more robust than they were prior to the pandemic.

“This crisis response was about avoiding long-term problems by going for short-term solutions,” he said.

All three CEOs expect the Charlotte Region to perform well economically during 2022. Key drivers of the region’s success, they said, are some of the advantages the area boasts: strong talent pipelines, convenient geographic proximity to other areas, and a business-friendly environment.

“Charlotte is unique because the education system, tax structure, etcetera, is a big attraction for companies to move here, which drives an influx in residents moving here as well,” Ellison said. “The business community in Charlotte works better together and works better with the city leaders and other elected officials than any other place I’ve lived.”

Article courtesy Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. CLT Alliance Convenes top Fortune 500 CEOs for 2022 Economic Outlook. 9 Dec. 2021,