In the whirlwind of global markets, certain industries find themselves at the epicenter of controversy and challenge. These contested industries, such as textile, fossil fuels, tobacco, are constantly balancing on the fine line between profitability and public scrutiny. Regulatory pressures, ethical debates, and societal expectations demand these sectors not just to adapt but to fundamentally renew their purpose. The concept of ’purpose-driven renewal’ emerges as a beacon for such industries. Unlike mere rebranding or superficial changes, purpose-driven renewal suggests a reconstitution of an organization’s core values, mission, and strategic objectives to align with broader societal goals. It reflects a shift from profit-centric to value-centric models, a potential panacea for the legitimacy crises these industries face. However, transitioning to a purpose-driven approach has substantial challenges for firms operating in contested industries. While extant research has extensively covered organizational change, the distinctive challenges and strategies pertinent to contested industries remain underexplored, especially through the lens of “corporate purpose”. Amid this complex landscape, the research seeks to delve deeply into the complexities of purpose-driven renewal in contested industries to uncover the practices, challenges, and implications of this strategic change.