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Temin and Co.

In the News

Temin and Company is often quoted in print, broadcast and social media on topical issues as well as industry trends.

Following is a list of links to those articles, beginning with the most recent.

American Apparel Executives Call for Charney’s Return

Matt Townsend, Bloomberg, December 17, 2014

Paula Schneider, American Apparel Inc. incoming chief executive officer, hasn't even started work yet and she's already facing a group of disgruntled managers. More than 30 executives asked the board to reconsider their decision to fire former CEO and company founder Dov Charney, according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. Charney should be a part of the retailer's future by helping the next CEO improve the chain because he is what "makes this thing tick," the managers said.

Charney's loyalists bring an additional headache to a new CEO already coping with red ink and sluggish sales. The chain has racked up more than $300 million in net losses since 2010, forcing it to raise capital to make ends meet -- most recently in July. Schneider also has to contend with image problems at a company that's been criticized for its racy advertising and sexually charged culture.

Bringing in a woman with a lot of experience may help repair American Apparel's public image, said Davia Temin, founder of Temin & Co., a New York crisis-management firm. "From a reputation point of view, it's a good choice," Temin said. "It's probably the only choice they had, doing something drastic." [ more]

Crisis of the Week: Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, December 15, 2014

This week's crisis assignment is nuts—literally. We asked our experts to look into how Korean Air Lines Co. handled the incident in which Cho Hyun-ah, a company executive vice president—and daughter of the airline's chairman—ordered a plane that was set to take off back to the terminal after one of the flight attendants failed to follow the airline's protocol for serving macadamia nuts.

The incident, which required the plane to return to the terminal and delayed takeoff by 20 minutes, led to extensive criticism of the airline, the resignation of the woman and an apology by the airline's chairman, Cho Yang-ho, who said the incident reflected on his failures as a father. It also led to a sharp increase in sales of macadamia nuts.

Davia Temin, president and chief executive, Temin and Co.: "Mixed messaging rarely works when issuing an institutional apology. And since, these days, perception usually trumps reality, it really doesn't matter much whether the mistake made was nuanced–the apology can not be. To assuage rampant public outrage on social media, and this new 'mean age' we are all living in, a public apology must be clear, seemingly heartfelt, and unequivocal. That is exactly what Korean Airlines did not do." [ more]

The CEO apology, in 14 tweets

Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, November 21, 2014

When Uber CEO Travis Kalanick rattled off a series of 14 tweets Tuesday afternoon, most of the attention was on what he said rather than how he said it. While Kalanick may have intended to apologize for the controversy that erupted after one of Uber's executives suggested digging into the personal lives of journalists, he was chided for the sorry-not-sorry nature of his remarks.

Yet his decision to issue that apology via a "tweetstorm" — a series of tweets on a single subject — was also a head scratcher. Using a series of tweets, rather than a single one that links to a blog post or press release for more information, has become an increasingly popular vehicle for corporate communications. But that might be misguided.

Davia Temin says she generally likes the idea of executives using a tweetstorm: It has a feel of spontaneity and authenticity, and the flood of comments can prompt greater visibility for the CEO's remarks. If an executive is using it to lay out a position or discuss an industry issue, it can be "a brilliant use of the medium," she says. "People report on a tweetstorm more than a blog." [ more]

Weekly Wrap: Merging the GSEs; Does Choke Point Hurt the Unbanked?

American Banker, November 7, 2014

Among the stories in this week's Weekly Wrap, Management consultant Davia Temin takes a look at some uncomfortable findings about how successful women negotiate unconscious gender bias and power dynamics in finance, technology and other industries. [ more]

When in Crisis, What Should Boards Do?

Rob Meiksins, Nonprofit Quarterly, October 9, 2014

In recent weeks and months, there have been a series of crises in organizations ranging from data breaches at Target, Michaels, and Chase to the sexual abuse scandals at Penn State and domestic violence in the NFL. In many of these cases, although the boards of directors were not blamed directly, they often came under fire for not having paid close enough attention to see the crises coming or for reacting too slowly. It is no surprise, then, articles have begun to appear addressing how a board should act before, during and after a crisis.

Forbes' online news outlet has published a list of 10 things boards should do, authored by contributor Davia Temin, who is listed as a leadership and crisis expert. Although her comments address for-profit corporations for the most part, the lessons can also be applied to nonprofit organizations. [ more]

Crisis of the Week: How Well Did Tesco Account for Itself?

Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal's Risk & Compliance Journal, September 29, 2014

Since news of the shortfall was made public Tesco has suspended four senior executives and called in outside auditors and attorneys to investigate. It also moved up the starting date for its new chief financial officer, who was supposed to take over in December but who now is starting immediately. We asked our crisis and reputation experts if the actions taken by Chief Executive Dave Lewis—who assumed the top job just last month—are sufficient to quell the negative publicity.

Davia Temin, president and CEO, Temin and Co.: "When companies are this troubled, new issues keep bubbling up, as this latest one seemingly did. And that is in direct conflict with crisis management rule 101–get all of the bad news out right away, don't let it trickle out–so that once it is all in the open, you can focus on the fixes." [ more]

In NFL Probe, Even FBI Chiefs Risk ‘Motivated Blindness’

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, September 24, 2014

It's becoming a time-worn script. Company gets in trouble. Public gets upset. Company hires former head of three-letter agency or former prosecutor to get to the bottom of said trouble in thick report. Public forgives.

The National Football League's decision to hire former FBI Director Robert Mueller to examine its handling of a player's domestic violence case mimics companies such as General Motors Co. and BP Plc in hiring high-profile outsiders to blunt criticism by airing their dirty laundry. Demand for such investigations has spawned a multi-million business as 55 percent of companies last year said they had at least one internal investigation requiring the assistance of outside counsel, according to an April report on litigation trends by Norton Rose Fulbright.

The question is how impartial these investigation can really be -- or, more broadly, how much truth do they want to find?

"It's always a challenge when you're trying to shine bright lights on what's going on in dark rooms," said Davia Temin, head of the New York-based crisis management firm Temin & Co. "The question always is, how far does the public blood-letting go?" [ more]

Roger Goodell has gone to ground

Tim Keown, ESPN, September 18, 2014

Roger Goodell has disappeared. In the NFL's hour of greatest need, its leader has decided to remain silent and invisible. Poof! Vanished. For more than a week, as pictures emerge and indictments are filed and news conferences collapse under the weight of doublespeak and obfuscation, Goodell has sealed himself away from the mounting pile of rubble.

Where is he, and why? Is the commissioner himself on the NFL exempt/commissioner's permission list? His retreat from the public realm gives the impression of a boss who is not only inaccessible, but incapable. This isn't going away soon.

New York crisis management expert Davia Temin says she would tell Goodell this: The league must use its reach and influence to devote itself to the issue of domestic violence, including child abuse. It should mandate its players and team employees to complete the strictest and most comprehensive domestic violence training in corporate America. It should buy in wholly and completely, not as a PR stunt. [ more]

In wake of Target, Home Depot tight with info in breach response

Nathan Layne, Reuters, September 8, 2014

Home Depot Inc is being tight-lipped about its possible credit card breach, the opposite approach to the one Target Corp took nearly a year ago.

Almost a week after security blogger Brian Krebs warned that Home Depot could be the victim of a breach extending to more than 2,000 U.S. stores, the home improvement chain has not confirmed or denied that one had occurred. The company said Tuesday that it was working with authorities to investigate the matter.

"When you have criminal behavior, you don’t know right away what all the ramifications are," said Davia Temin, head of a consultancy focused on crisis and reputation management. "It’s really hard when you are trying to overcommunicate not to misstate reality." [ more]

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