Category Archives: Managers

The hits just keep on coming

“Faked Data at Issue Again in Japan,” The Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2017 B1.  Mitsubishi Materials continued to ship car, plane, and power-plant parts to 200 customers (including in the US) while factory workers were fudging quality data on rubber gaskets and copper products.  As is common, they sat on the news for a while.

This follows similar stories about Kobe Steel and Nissan Motors.  So much for the much-vaunted quality initiatives in Japan.  These types of problems “have deep roots in Japan Inc.’s governance problems,” which rely on decentralized and largely independent operations.

If there’s a problem somewhere else in your industry, you probably have it, too;  you just haven’t found it yet.

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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Managers, Oversight, Protect assets, Supervision, To report, Vendors

A top goal?

“CEOs Make Protecting Data a Top Goal,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2017 B4.  Unfortunately, the focus is on cyber-security rather than the broader information risk profile.  While this affect CEOs’ email habits, as they are phishing targets?

While this is a start, do CEOs really understand how much their company’s proprietary information is worth?  Or their duty to protect the company’s assets (people, physical equipment, cash, and information)?  Why not?

And where are the boards?  Don’t they have an overarching duty to oversee the major risks the company is facing and to make sure there’s an effective program in place to address?

I hear the violin.  Is Rome burning?

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A failure of controls

What does it say about a company’s culture that allows a sexual predator to continue to run the company for years?  What other non-compliance with ethics and law will we find?  Not only there, but at every other company in the industry?  Nobody reported this?  Where were the policies and the audits?  Where were the lawyers?  Where was the press?

“Weinstein Co. Board Fires Harvey Weinstein, Citing Sexual Misconduct Allegations.”  The Wall Street Journal on-line, October 8, 2017.

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Disclosure

“A Hot Startup Misled Advertisers,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2017 A1.  Outcome Health apparently misled advertisers as to how many units their ads were appearing on.  The investigation continues.

How would your employees react if ask to provide inflated numbers to potential customers?  How would your investors react after a story appears on page one, above the fold?  Probably reflects in the valuation of the company.  And what about your company’s extensive political contacts?

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VW may face fraud charges

VW is being investigated by the EU’s antifraud office since November 2015, in connection with loans based, in part, on VW’s green environmental reputation.  The emissions cheating scandal has cost $25 billion.  And counting.  May recommend that Germany charges two employees with fraud.  German authorities are in on the hunt, too.

“Volkswagen Faced With New Legal Woes,” The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2017 B3.

Who knew what when, and who failed to disclose what they knew?  When it rains, it pours.

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The self-governing company

Uber fired the executive at the heart of the dispute with Google over self-driving cars.  The exec failed to meet a deadline to comply with a court order to turn over documents in a trade secret case over self-driving cars. “Uber Fires Executive At Center Of Suit,” The Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2017 A1.

Lesson?  If you hire an employee from a competitor and he’s accused of stealing his former employer’s trade secrets, try your best to look good.

What’s your process for keeping new employees, especially from competitors, from damaging your business and your reputation by bringing in your competitor’s trade secrets?  Did you follow it, or is it just there for show?

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A handful of stories

  1. Compare

“FCC Won’t Move Against Colbert for Crude Remarks,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 A3.  Remarks about Trump don’t draw a fine.  The question remains, what will?  What’s the impact of the regulator not even trying to enforce regulatory standards?

With

“Pakistan Investigates Social-Media Critics of Its Military,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 A8.  Twenty-seven critics investigated for “unacceptable” comments criticizing and ridiculing the military and judiciary.  The FCC wasn’t consulted.

2. “U.S. Sues Chrysler Over Emissions Tests,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 B1.  Apparently VW wasn’t the only one seeking to game the emissions-testing process.

3.  “Human Still Rule Machines in Insurance,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 B1.  Despite the new sources of data, and the ability of computer programs to determine how much an individual insurance policy should cost, humans are still a necessary decision-maker.

4.  “Target Settles Probe Into Its 2013 Hack,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 B3. Following the 2013 data breach, Target pays an additional $18.5 million to settle state charges.

5. “High-Ranking Chinese Regulator Faces Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2017 B14.  Assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission fired for breaking the rules.  Details not available.

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