Being a good CEO is simple. It means defending the beliefs of the communities you serve, even if it could hurt the company's bottom line, Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig said Thursday.
Rosensweig is among more than 80 chief executives who have signed a letter denouncing a new North Carolina law that invalidates legal protections against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The law, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last week, has drawn the ire of mayors in New York, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as of business leaders including Apple's Tim Cook and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
"Obeying the laws of the land, living up to the duties of the office and defending the Constitution is the foundation of my governorship," McCrory said. "I signed that bill because if I didn't, on April 1, the expectation of privacy of North Carolina citizens could be violated."
Similar measures framed as religious freedom laws have passed in Mississippi, Missouri and Indiana. Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal, who faced mounting pressure from businesses over its measure, vetoed the bill earlier this week.
The backlash from business leaders isn't surprising, Rosensweig said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley."
"What CEOs are trying to do is represent their communities and their audiences and their customers," Rosensweig said. "And the fact of the matter is, when a state is legislating discrimination against any group, that shouldn't be OK."