Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giants Fall

By Ronald R. Sims | Go to book overview
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Ethical Business Missteps: The Former and Current State of Affairs

INTRODUCTION

No matter which way we turn, it appears that the entire population is whirling within a vortex of mistrust, distrust, misinformation, disinformation, and disclosures. Corporate managements, meanwhile, are scrambling to mend miles of fences between themselves and their boards of directors, banks, investment bankers, stockbrokers, auditors, the media, Senate and House committees, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An array of scandals afflicting corporations and Wall Street over the last few years have created what has been referred to as “a triple-tier Who's Who” for officials under investigation—those who are jail bound, those who might be sentenced and those who have the good luck merely to be greatly embarrassed (Hahn 2002). 1 For example, Timothy Ganley, former VP of software maker Critical Path Inc., was sentenced to six months in federal prison plus two months of supervised release for insider trading. The former president, David Thatcher, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and awaits sentencing, as do two vice presidents (Jonathan Beck and Kevin Clark) who have admitted guilt on insider-trading charges; a third veep got six-months jail sentence. Ganley also paid $107,908 in a civil case brought by the SEC.

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