April was not a good month for chief executives trying to navigate the increasingly knotty ethical challenges of ESG leadership.

Company CEOs, writes Masters, increasingly are tying themselves into ethical knots trying to balance social and environmental concerns with maximizing shareholder return.

Take the plight of JPMorgan Chase & Co. boss Jamie Dimon. Just days after he proudly wrote to shareholders that American companies must “aggressively work to improve society,” the Rain Forest Action Network declared Dimon the world’s worst banker on climate change

Then Chase executives found themselves in yet another ethical quandary when they – along with a bevy of finance executives, including BlackRock’s Fink and HSBC CEO John Flint – attended a Saudi Arabian investment conference just as the government announced the beheading of 37 suspected terrorists – some teenagers – with one being publicly crucified. Awkward.

Days later, activists cheered when Chase joined a global boycott of posh hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei after the sultan introduced laws that punish same sex or extramarital sex by stoning.

However, Chase’s decision to blackball one royal court, while courting another, takes splitting ethical hairs to a new level of corporate decision making.

Masters says she is “torn” by their ESG dilemma: CEO’s “cannot ignore social, and environmental concerns, but they also have the duty to make money.” For the moment, however, she believes CEO’s are “scoring points rather than making hard choices.