More Activision CCO Drama

Activision

We return today to the saga surrounding Activision Blizzard and its chief compliance officer Frances Townsend — because, much to my astonishment, this story is getting even stranger. Townsend is doubling down on her statements about whistleblowers and, apparently, blocking employees on Twitter who disagree with her. Townsend made headlines last week for an ill-phrased…

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Activision CCO Steps Into a Mess

Activision

Looks like Frances Townsend, the chief compliance officer for Activision Blizzard, is going through some things this week. The state of California just sued the video game giant for allowing a sexually harassing culture, Townsend then circulated an email to employees calling the allegations false, and now employees are furious at her statement. This is…

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Digging Into the State Street Settlement

I haven’t had time to write about this until now, but last week State Street Corp. agreed to pay a $115 million criminal penalty and accept a compliance monitor for two years, to settle charges that the bank deliberately overcharged its clients for years. If you want an example of how invasive compliance monitorships can…

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Ethics Survey, Part II: Management Problems

values

Today I want to return to the 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey, released last week by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative. There’s another theme in the data that we should explore, since it has significant implications for your compliance program’s risk assessment, training, and policies.  That theme: managers are more pessimistic about compliance and ethics…

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More Misadventures in Leadership

Who knew, compliance officers, that we could spend Thanksgiving weekend musing over yet another example of tone-deaf leadership and the damage it can do to corporate culture? Yet we can do precisely that thanks to Michael Hancock, mayor of Denver.  Those of you in Colorado may already know the story. Hancock, like every other sensible…

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Leadership Disaster at Holyoke Home

Holyoke

Last week Massachusetts officials published a report about one of the worst failures of our state’s Covid-19 response so far: the deaths of dozens of elderly veterans at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Mass. in late March and early April, at the height of our coronavirus outbreak here.  The report is worth compliance and audit…

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Wynn Resorts Monitor Releases Report

Wynn

Compliance officers looking for something good to read, look no further! Massachusetts regulators have released a preliminary report from the compliance monitor overseeing troubled casino business Wynn Resorts, with glimpses into everything from tone at the top, to policies and procedures, third-party oversight, internal controls, and more. The 118-page report became public as part of…

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Wells Fargo, Part I: How This Happened

wells fargo

Wells Fargo reached a $3 billion settlement with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, to resolve civil and criminal charges into its unauthorized account scandal from the 2010s. Let’s take a look, since the facts here are a powerful example of how a company can engineer its culture and operations…

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Fighting Ethical Disconnects in Corporate Culture

values

Well, it’s happened again: managers at a large company did something contradictory to a good corporate culture and common social mores, and made the company look terrible to the public.  U.S. Bank, welcome to the hot seat.  You may have seen the article in the New York Times that started all this. Nicholas Kristof, a…

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How Pressure Invades Corporate Culture

boeing

Boeing was perhaps the biggest corporate compliance story of 2019, and we see no signs of that changing so far in 2020. This weekend we had another glimpse into the flawed corporate culture there that ultimately caused Boeing’s disaster with the 737 MAX jets. So let’s take another look at the lessons others can learn…

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