Category Archives: Companies

Did Corporate Culture Cause VW Crash?

With news breaking over the past several days, we all now know that Volkswagen is suffering a major corporate disaster. Not the equivalent of a reputational fender-bender, but an all-out drive into a wall. This is a corporate disaster that … Continue reading

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United CEO Fired: Decision-Making Off Course

As collateral damage from the government probe into the New Jersey Bridgegate scandal, United Continental Holdings Inc. CEO Jeff Smisek and two top lieutenants have been permanently grounded, told by United to resign following an internal investigation. While all of … Continue reading

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The Cost Accounting Of Corporate Social Responsibility

Companies would like us to believe that when they behave in a socially responsible manner they do so because it is the right thing to do. They hope we don’t pull back the curtain to find an accounting wizard sitting … Continue reading

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UBS And Puerto Rican Bonds: Short-Term Profits Vs. Long-Term Reputation

Recent new stories recount how in 2011, UBS management pressured brokers to sell shares in Puerto Rican bond funds about which the brokers had serious misgivings. (For example, from Reuters, “Exclusive: Recording shows how UBS drove reluctant brokers to sell … Continue reading

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Freedom Industries: Preliminary Autopsy Results On An Avoidable Corporate Disaster

Last month we learned of more damage from the chemical spill into Elk River in West Virginia in January, 2014: The indictment of four owner-executives of the company responsible for the spill, Freedom Industries. To recap the facts: Freedom Industries … Continue reading

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Wet Seal Second Chance: Perhaps Employee Engagement Should Be A Strategy

Wet Seal, the troubled fashion retailer catering to teenagers and young women, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. No surprise at that news. The company has been struggling for a while, and recently was ensnarled in controversy over its … Continue reading

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Corporate Death With Dignity? Not At Wet Seal

Is there such a thing as death with dignity for a company? If so, we are not seeing it at Wet Seal. The retailer of young women’s and teenage apparel this week announced it was closing two-thirds of its 511 … Continue reading

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Is Responsibility Delayed Responsibility Denied? American Apparel Finally Fires Charney

The board of directors of publicly-held American Apparel finally fired, once and for all, its legendary troublesome founder, largest shareholder, and CEO, Dov Charney. Charney has been dogged for years by female employee accusations of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, and … Continue reading

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Google, Amazon, Drones, And Corporate Responsibility

A few months back Amazon announced that it was developing drones to be used for faster delivery. Mom will be able to order a package of diapers and have it dropped on her doorstep minutes later. Amazon says drones will … Continue reading

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Sears And Limits On Sustainability

This week came news that Sears is eliminating a retiree health care subsidy. The cut will save the company an estimated $6 million per year. But the loss to nearly 14,000 retirees makes life on a limited income even more … Continue reading

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