Category Archives: Corporate Disasters

Conflicted Self-Interest Causes Business Irresponsibility

If you closely examine corporate disasters—so often in the news these days—such as products or accidents that injure or kill people, environmental messes, and public relations nightmares, you will usually find a common culprit: bad decision-making caused by conflicted self-interest. … Continue reading

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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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A Corporate Disaster Is Corporate Irresponsibility

(The first of a six part series.) Natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes—are unavoidable. Prudent, responsible companies in disaster-prone locations make contingency plans to mitigate the impact of a natural disaster, even if the likelihood of one occurring is small. Man-made corporate … 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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Ferguson Police Racial Bias And Lessons About Tone At The Top

The scathing Department of Justice Report last week on racism in the Ferguson Missouri police department underscores the importance of tone at the top. In the wake of officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of unarmed eighteen year-old Michael Brown, and the … Continue reading

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Sunny Forecast For ARCP; Storm Warning For Ex-Boss Schorsch

This week American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP) revealed in filings with the SEC that it has completed its internal investigation into an accounting scandal at the company. The good news: the firm’s underlying real estate portfolio, once valued at $30 … Continue reading

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Flying Drones Through Loopholes: Questions of Business Ethics and Responsibility

           Risk managers, reputation managers, directors of corporate communications, chief ethics officers, CEOs, and board members of at least a number of household name companies are either asleep at the switch, or having sleepless nights. We can’t be sure which … 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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MF Global Fined $100 Million: Reminder Of An Avoidable Corporate Disaster

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has fined the failed commodities brokerage firm, MF Global, $100 million. The fine is part of a $ 1.2 billion settlement between CFTC and the bankrupt company. You might recall that MF Global, under … Continue reading

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ARCP: An Avoidable Corporate Disaster

The unfolding story of the accounting scandal at American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP), a fast-growing real estate investment trust (REIT) owning properties valued at $30 billion, provides an object lesson in avoidable corporate disasters. On October 29, 2014 the company … Continue reading

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