Are Corporate Social Responsibility Executives Becoming Mainstream Power Brokers?

The week’s news has been dominated by the staff shuffling in the Obama White House.

In today’s New York Times analysis, we learn that new Chief of Staff William M. Daley formerly oversaw global corporate social responsibility at JP Morgan Chase.

The article implies that the former lawyer and investment banker’s rise to chief CSR executive at JPM was considered a significant ascendancy of power inside the firm:

“Mr. Daley started as chairman of Chase’s Midwest operations, but by 2007 he had expanded his portfolio, joining the bank’s senior leadership team as chief of its new Office of Corporate Social Responsibility, whose most important function was to oversee the company’s global lobbying efforts.”

The Times story describes CSR at JPM as a lobbying function, whereas the JPM website establishes a fairly straightforward foundation approach to CSR. Regardless, both experiences are no doubt germane to his new job: Getting a Obama a second term.

More interestingly, does Daley’s appointment suggest that CSR executives are becoming legitimate power brokers?

Image credit by JoshBerglund19 via Flickr under a CC license