A takeover in Britain shows shareholders still rule the corporate roost

FOR MOST people, coming into work is about more than picking up a pay slip. Not everyone aims to change the fate of humankind at the office. But even a sense that one’s employer is making a useful product helps escape the lure of the duvet in the morning. Bosses hype this up. It has become fashionable to claim that the pursuit of purpose in the service of “stakeholders” matters more than pleasing shareholders. The outcome of a takeover battle shows how removed from reality the rhetoric is.

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On September 20th Philip Morris International (PMI), a

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