Thursday, July 06, 2006

Corporate Responsibility

Two recent headlines from the Chicago Tribune that I'd like to highlight. In my mind, illustrate both the good and the bad in corporate America when it comes to business ethics and moral responsibility.

Lay's Death Robs Many of Closure

  • The death of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay on Wednesday puts an abrupt stop to a criminal prosecution that appeared to be leading inexorably to a life sentence for the one-time corporate kingpin. His death also eliminates an opportunity to deter wrongdoing by imposing a severe penalty, and robs American society of closure in one of its most painful commercial affairs, some observers said.

Suspects in Coke Case to Appear in Court

  • Coca-Cola and Pepsi are usually bitter enemies, but when PepsiCo Inc. got a letter offering Coke trade secrets, it went straight to its corporate rival. Six weeks later, three people were scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday to face charges of stealing confidential information, including a sample of a new drink, from The Coca-Cola Co., and trying to sell it to PepsiCo. "Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal," Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco said. "We're pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the people responsible for this."
Fair and legal competition? What a concept ;-) I have several friends who work for PepsiCo, so it's good to hear that their employer walks the talk when they encourage moral and ethical behavior. My employer just came out with a new version of its business principles, including my absolute favorite, "operate with the highest standards of integrity". If even half of my fellow employees started adhering to that particular principle, I'd be a really happy camper.

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