General Mills CEO Ken Powell on Monday
told shareholders that the company's opposition to a proposed gay
marriage ban in Minnesota is a question of business, not politics.
Powell was peppered at the company's
annual meeting with questions about the June announcement.
“I really had a heavy heart and it
saddened me that General Mills took a political stance on the
amendment,” a shareholder said at the meeting. “Whether for or
against, I don't think politically you should have taken a stand on
“What was the reason for the company
to get involved when perhaps over 50 percent of your customer base
will be offended? I just don't understand the rationale,” a second
Star Tribune quoted Powell as answering: “We see it as a
business issue that's not good for our state, our employees and our
company. We did not do it as a public relations move.”
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay nuptials,
organized a boycott against General Mills after its announcement.
Mills' profits rise despite boycott over gay marriage.)