Vivek Ramaswamy
Source: Getty Images

Former Roivant CEO Vivek Ramaswamy Is Railing Against ‘Wokeism’ in Corporate America

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Aug. 25 2021, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

In Jan. 2021, after racking up a multimillion-dollar net worth, Vivek Ramaswamy stepped down as CEO of his biotech company, Roivant Sciences, and wrote a book called Woke, Inc.

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Why? He’s concerned with “woke” politics in corporate boardrooms and hoping to do with the “Church of Wokeism” what The Boston Globe’s investigative Spotlight team did to the Catholic Church, as he recently told The Wall Street Journal.

“I’m a whistleblower, not a journalist,” he added. “But the church analogy holds strong … In the case of my book, the child I’m concerned about is American democracy.” In Ramaswamy’s view, wokeism was a “lifeline” for big banks. “A bunch of big banks got together with a bunch of millennials, birthed woke capitalism, and then put Occupy Wall Street up for adoption,” he explained. “And now “big business makes money by critiquing itself.”

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Ramaswamy went from biotech investing to blockbuster IPOs

As The Wall Street Journal reported, Ramaswamy grew up in suburban Ohio, honing his belief system as the only Hindu student at the Catholic school to which his parents transferred him after he was attacked by an “anti-achiever” classmate in public school. Though raised by a liberal father, Ramaswamy identified as a libertarian during high school and as a conservative while a biology student at Harvard University.

Vivek Ramaswamy
Source: Getty Images
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After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard and becoming a biotech investor, Ramaswamy attended Yale Law with a fellowship from Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.

In 2014, Ramaswamy founded Roivant, and in 2015, he was behind the biggest-ever U.S. biotech IPO when Roivant’s Axovant Sciences raised $360 million, according to Forbes. The following year, Roivant’s Myovant Sciences raised $218 million in its IPO. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ramaswamy has a net worth of $500 million.

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Now, with his new book, Ramasawamy is calling out “stakeholder capitalism”

Ramaswamy stepped down as Roivant's CEO in Jan. 2021 and became the company’s executive chairman, telling shareholders that his “increasing public engagement” influenced his decision, reported BioSpace. Now he has a new book out, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam, billed as a critique against “stakeholder capitalism” and the mixing of morality and consumerism.

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In the book, Ramaswamy accuses companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines of capitalizing on popular social justice movements, according to the Daily Mail. “Here’s how it works: pretend like you care about something other than profit and power, precisely to gain more of each,” he writes.

In this scenario, Ramaswamy adds, “Corporations win. Woke activists win. Celebrities win. But the losers of this game are the American people, including both sincere progressives who are used as pawns and everyday conservatives who are silenced, our hollowed-out institutions, and American democracy itself.”

His solution? A “shared American identity that is so deep and so powerful that it dilutes wokeism to irrelevance … one that no longer leaves us susceptible to being divided by corporate elites for their own gain.”

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