Yale professor is keeping tabs on companies still operating in Russia despite Ukraine invasion — and the list includes some household names

A Yale professor and his research team are keeping tabs on companies that are still operating in Russia in the wake of its invasion of neighboring Ukraine — and the list includes many household names.

‘In the days since we initially published our list, many of the “remain” companies have responded to public backlash and decided to withdraw, and we are continuously revising our list to reflect these decisions as they are made.’


— Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management

The situation is fluid, but the list includes Caterpillar Inc.
CAT,
6.76%
,
Coty Inc.
COTY,
4.22%
,
Deere & Co.
DE,
-1.10%
,
Honeywell International Inc.
HON,
0.59%
,
Kellogg Co.
K,
-5.02%
,
Kimberly-Clark Corp.
KMB,
-3.71%
,
PepsiCo Inc.
PEP,
-2.82%
,
Philip Morris International Inc.
PM,
0.83%
,
Otis Worldwide Corp.
OTIS,
-1.08%
,
Papa John’s International Inc.
PZZA,
-0.22%

and Mondelez International Inc.
MDLZ,
-2.77%
.

Non-U.S. companies on the Yale list, headed up by business-school professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, include Unilever
UL,
-0.39%
,
Nestlé
NESN,
-2.59%

and Pirelli
PIRC,
-1.99%
.

A few companies managed to get off the list by the end of Tuesday.

McDonald’s Corp.
MCD,
-0.69%

announced earlier Tuesday it would temporarily close all of its 850 restaurants in Russia and continue paying its 62,000 workers, the Associated Press reported.

Coca-Cola Co. KO and Starbucks Corp. SBUX later Tuesday said that they too were pausing operations. Starbucks has 130 locations in Russia.

PepsiCo said earlier Tuesday that it was exploring options for its business in Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported, and may write it off.

Later in the day, however, the food and beverage giant said it was halting sales of Pepsi-Cola and other soft drinks including 7Up and Mirinda, and also suspending investments and advertising and promotional activities in Russia.

PepsiCo has “a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula and baby food,” the company said.

The continuation of some operations also supports “the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead,” it said.

For the full list of companies: Visit the Yale School of Management website

Companies have a reputational incentive to withdraw, despite any loss of investment or business, Sonnenfeld wrote in Fortune on Monday.

“Companies that fail to withdraw face a wave of U.S. public resentment far greater than what they face on climate change, voting rights, gun safety, immigration reform, or border security,” he wrote.

He cited a Morning Consult survey that found more than 75% of Americans want companies to cut their business ties with Russia and are united on the subject across political lines in a way that has become quite rare.

See also: Facebook, Google, Amazon and more marked Black History Month with fanfare — after donating to lawmakers who blocked voting-rights bills

Sonnenfeld also argued that those who fear that such corporate moves and government-imposed sanctions will punish ordinary Russians are missing the point that they would impose pain, but not the violence of war, which would be far more painful.

“Vladimir Putin, the most vicious autocrat of this century, rules through tyranny and fear. As he continues to fail, people will lose their fear and he will lose his power,” Sonnenfeld wrote.

Among the companies that are still in Russia, Papa John’s has the most locations at 185, according to the Yale researchers. Confectionery group Mars has more than $2 billion in investments, and Pirelli makes 10% of its tires there.

The list of companies that have withdrawn from Russia or curtailed their business there is longer, at more than 200, and includes big hitters Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL,
0.57%
,
American Express Co.
AXP,
0.58%
,
Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-1.17%
,
Cisco Systems Inc.
CSCO,
-2.14%
,
Walt Disney Co.
DIS,
-1.31%
,
IBM Corp.
IBM,
-0.31%

and Netflix Inc.
NFLX,
-2.43%
.

MarketWatch has contacted all companies named in this story for comment.

The Yale list is being updated daily.