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Temin and Co.

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In the News-Leadership & Strategy

Between Cosby and Kavanaugh -- 810 High-Profile Public Figures Accused of Sexual Harassment

T&C Press Release, PR Newswire, October 3, 2018

Cosby-Kavanaugh

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As the #MeToo movement has redefined "acceptable" conduct in every sphere of society — from the workplace to the university, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court — reputation and crisis management consultancy Temin and Company has logged 810 high-profile figures from Cosby to Kavanaugh accused of sexual harassment. This creates a comprehensive database of those accused of #MeToo-related conduct since the arrest of Bill Cosby in December 2015.

Among the 810 Temin's "#MeToo Index" has tallied are: 234 in arts and entertainment; 192 in politics and government; 159 in business; 114 in media and broadcasting; and 63 in colleges and universities. "Every sector has been affected," says Temin CEO Davia Temin, "and leaders — CEOs and board directors – are looking for insight on why, why now, and how we can address the reputational risk of toxic workplace cultures."

Weinstein was the Watershed
"We are at a pivotal moment when several aspects of the movement, and its pushback, are converging," Temin continues. "As the nation is fixated on the Kavanaugh hearings and FBI investigation, as well as Cosby's sentencing as a 'sexually violent predator,' October 5 also marks one year since the explosive revelations of Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual misconduct. Our data tells us that these revelations opened the floodgates and set off the spike in allegations around the world." Accusations averaged 6 per month between Cosby and Weinstein, and jumped to 78 in October 2017, 119 in November, and 103 in December. The average in 2018 is 42 per month. "We are seeing the public impact of these accusations in real time, and the power they have to marshal public sentiment, outcry, and action."

No One Wants to be a "#MeToo Company"
As allegations around sexual misconduct and toxic culture increasingly dominate the news cycle, the consequences for organizations have risen exponentially. An SEC filing by CBS on September 28 revealed CBS has received subpoenas from the New York County District Attorney and the NYC Commission on Human Rights, as well as a request for information from the NYS Attorney General's Office regarding allegations against Les Moonves, "CBS News and cultural issues at all levels of CBS." "A dramatic shift is occurring in organizations everywhere, and corporate boards – especially women board members — are paying serious attention," says Temin. "No one wants to be a '#MeToo company' today."

Metrics Bolster Narrative
"Personal narrative, fueled by social media, has transformed the #MeToo movement into a powerhouse very quickly," Temin says. "But I believe it takes narrative combined with metrics — with research — to put the issue in context and fuel its next wave. One person's story on social media, even anonymous, strikes a chord with others who have experienced the same thing, sometimes perpetrated by the same individual. Victims may have felt alone before, but then recognize that they have been part of a pattern. They then post their stories, sometimes anonymously as well. Their stories attract others who do affix their names, and a powerful trajectory of truth is begun.

"But you can lie with narrative as well. We all know that. It is the wise combination of metrics, personal narrative, and pristine due process that will bring us closest to long-hidden truths that have damaged women's progress forever. That is why I started this Index."

#MeToo Index: Highlights
Compiling data of allegations around sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, workplace misconduct, and other related behavior, the continuously updated Temin #MeToo Index defines "high-profile" accusations as receiving at least seven mentions in the popular media. The database includes over 25 information fields, ranging from the accused's age, industry, date of accusation and resolution, to political party. Highlights from the Index include:

  • A steep explosion in numbers of public accusations occurred after Weinstein revelations in the New York Times – October 5, 2017:
    • June, 2017: 10
    • July, 2017: 10
    • August, 2017: 9
    • September, 2017: 11
    • October, 2017: 78
    • November, 2017: 119
    • December, 2017: 103
  • After the spike in accusations following Weinstein, the number of accusations per month has held relatively steady over the last 6 months:
    • April, 2018: 28
    • May, 2018: 39
    • June, 2018: 24
    • July, 2018: 39
    • August, 2018: 41
    • September, 2018: 35
  • Entertainment, politics, and business draw most accusations:
    • Arts & Entertainment: 234
    • Politics & Government: 192
    • Business: 159 (including 40+ in finance)
    • Media & Broadcasting: 114
    • Colleges & Universities: 63
  • Final resolutions of cases (many still pending) include:
    • 75 Arrested (Some before or after being fired)
    • 18 Deceased (3 committed suicide)
    • 146 Fired
    • 211 Resigned
    • 18 Retired
    • 53 Suspended/Are on Leave
    • 104 Lost Work (including entertainers or sports figures)/Other
    • 221 No Repercussions
  • 56 CEOs are the subject of accusations to date. 21 CEOs of public companies and 29 CEOs of private companies have had accusations revealed in the media, in addition to 6 nonprofit CEOs. In the nonprofit sphere, there are also 20 CEO-equivalents, including directors, founders, and presidents of prominent, heavily-funded national and international organizations, who have come under fire, with all 20 leaving their positions, although one was re-elected after being exonerated of the charges.
  • Accusations of sexual misconduct cross party lines fairly evenly. For those in political office accused of misconduct, the split is fairly even between Democrats and Republicans: 76 Democrats vs. 70 Republicans.
  • 97% of accused are male. Asia Argento captured media attention by being on both sides of the #MeToo debate – accuser and accused – but 787 of the 810 alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment or assault on the Temin #MeToo Index are male.
  • The time between accusation to resolution has been growing shorter. As #MeToo begins to be seen as a real reputational risk, organizations are paying attention to and acting on complaints more quickly. Some are even announcing the resolution of a complaint at the same time they announce the accusation.

And, separately, in the business sphere:

  • M&A deal risk: Financial impact in the M&A space came with the arrival of the "Weinstein clause" in mid-summer '18, mandating additional due diligence of executive conduct in target companies and allowing acquiring firms to pull out if they found something they didn't like.
  • Asset management flight: Investors are seeing firms with sexual harassment complaints as an investment risk; some portfolio managers are staying away and others are questioning company management about their workplace culture issues and how they are dealing with sexual misconduct.
  • Corporate investigations into company culture: "The best organizations are conducting deep dives into their corporate culture to better understand how sexual harassment is tolerated, and the dynamics at play in their workplace. Boards themselves are also more involved in addressing cultural insufficiencies in their companies than ever before – a role that used to belong almost exclusively to management and HR."

"We are at the tip of the iceberg as more and more organizations continue or begin investigations into their cultures in general and #MeToo incidents in specific," says Temin. "More incidents will come to light. Different sectors are reacting on different timelines, and with different levels of seriousness, but this is a movement toward fairness and safety that will not be stopped. It is inexorable.

"Organizations seeking to create cultures not only of safety, compliance and security, but of mentorship, innovation, purpose, and excellence, are demanding zero tolerance for this kind of misconduct and are demonstrating greater willingness to mete out consequences when required."

Leading in a 'MeToo' Era

Wanda Wallace, "Out of the Comfort Zone," Voice America, September 14, 2018

In the era of #MeToo, less and less silence surrounds cases of sexual harassment. Companies and leaders need to know what to do to prevent the problem in the first place as well as how to respond to accusations whether the case can be proven or not. Tune in to hear the experiences and advice from Davia Temin, who counsels boards, companies and leaders on how to manage their reputations especially in times of crisis. [...read more]

To download the episode, CLICK HERE.

From Pot Podcasts to Taboo Tesla Tweets, Musk’s Antics Continue

Eve Tahmincioglu, Directors & Boards, September 10, 2018

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The Air Force is reportedly looking into Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent appearance on a popular podcast because it appears to showing the embattled executive smoking marijuana.

It's the latest in unusual behavior by Musk, including a tweet storm last month when he claimed he wanted to take Tesla private and then changed his mind. The claims apparently surprised the company's board; and they prompted a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry.

Clearly, Musk marches to the beat of his own drummer, but in cases like this, what's a board to do?

Corporate crisis and reputation adviser Davia B. Temin, CEO of Temin and Company Inc., weighs in:

There have always been "force-of-nature" CEOs. These are the geniuses who single-handedly build or propel organizations to new heights of innovation, achievement, profitability and impact. As a society, we tend to revere them, as much for their sins as for their sainthood. But, as directors, we are plunged into a conundrum. How much leeway do we give them, and when do we need to pull in the reigns? [...read more]

Moonves Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Richard Quest, Quest Means Business, CNN Money, September 10, 2018

Quest-Means-Business-Moonves

It's a pivotal moment for the #MeToo Movement and for CBS. Their Chief Executive, Les Moonves, is leaving the company immediately, pushed out by fresh accusations of sexual assault. Moonves is the first Fortune 500 CEO to be ousted through the #MeToo era.

The controversy isn't over because the details of Moonves' payout is still to be decided. CBS shares have regained some of the early losses. They are still down for the day, that's partly because with Moonves gone, the battle for control of CBS has come to an end.

Richard Quest talked to media reputation strategist, Davia Temin, about Moonves' exit and potential payout, the #MeToo Movement, how a board should respond to years' old allegations, and Serena Williams' response to her fine at the U.S. Open. [...read more]

Money managers get caught up in #MeToo movement

Christine Williamson, Pensions & Investments, September 3, 2018

PandI-Money-Managers-Get-Caught-Up

In the year since Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults came to light, institutional investors have begun to ask external money managers about their firms' histories on sexual misconduct.

The nascent trend to ask money managers to disclose sexual harassment and assault settlements was sparked by the #MeToo movement, which reignited last October after women all over the world shared their stories of sexual abuse in response to the Weinstein revelations, industry observers said.

"Weinstein was the game changer," said Davia B. Temin, formerly a money management marketing executive who now is president and CEO of New York-based Temin and Co. Inc., a crisis and reputation management specialist.

"Pension funds and other institutional investors aren't going to invest — or remain invested — with money managers with reputational issues. Negative publicity is a huge deterrent," Ms. Temin said. [...read more]

The need for sleep: Elon Musk and the perils of working around the clock

Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani, BNN Bloomberg, August 24, 2018

Bnn-Bloomberg

Burning the midnight oil at work? Many of us are guilty of it. But Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk's admission in a New York Times interview that he works 120 hours a week on little sleep has sparked a debate about workplace culture and how productive senior executives can be under grueling work schedules.

Everyone from Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington to workplace experts have weighed in on Musk's need to slow down and recharge. But will taking a break make an impact on the fast-paced and pressurized work culture in the corporate world?

While founder-driven companies typically have a sense of urgency to succeed, there is a fine line between achieving those goals and fostering an "over-stressed mania," said Davia Temin, CEO of New York-based management consultancy Temin and Company.

Musk's work ethic is not unusual when you look at other tech leaders like Apple Inc.'s late co-founder Steve Jobs. But Temin adds that Musk's "acting out" could be stressing out Tesla's employees.

"If Musk were a moderate man he would never have accomplished what he has," Temin said. [...read more]

Uber’s Founder/CEO Got Too Much Deference From the Board, Says Former A.G.

Dan Bigman, Chief Executive, June 25, 2018

Chief-Executive-6-25-18-Ubers-Founder

When boards are in awe of founder CEOs, bad things can happen. Just ask former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

If Holder was to sum up the board's role in the cultural meltdown at Uber that almost derailed the company, it is that directors gave too much deference to founder/CEO Travis Kalanick. This is something, he says, that boards need to pay particular attention to in an era of superstar founder/CEOs and unicorn valuations.

"It used to be that the board might either tolerate bad behavior, or publicly support a CEO while privately chastising him relentlessly. Regardless, he or she would stay," said Davia Temin. "More recently, however, given the outsized attention to serious CEO misbehavior, boards really have little choice—they must react, and act, quickly and decisively." [...read more]

Companies Caught Up in Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Immigration Policy See Big Risks

Samuel Rubenfeld, The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2018

WSJ-6-22-Zero-Tolerance

There is tremendous reputational risk for companies linked in any way to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that separated infants and children from their parents as they crossed the southern U.S. border, according to crisis-communications experts.

It is hard for a company to defend itself if it is an identified participant in a global firestorm, said Davia Temin, president and chief executive of Temin & Co., a crisis-management firm. Actions matter rather than words in an issue fraught with such emotion, she said. "Anyone associated with this government action is at risk of reputational damage, serious reputational damage." [...read more]

Intel CEO Krzanich Resigns Over Relationship With Employee

Jay Greene and Vanessa Fuhrmans, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2018

WSJ-6-21-Intel-CEO-Krzanich-Resigns

Intel Corp. said Chief Executive Brian Krzanich resigned for violating company policy by having a relationship with a co-worker, one of the most prominent CEOs to lose a job in an era of greater scrutiny over workplace behavior.

The rise of the #MeToo movement has companies hewing closely to policies on both sexual harassment and consensual relationships, especially for business leaders, said Davia Temin. "There's a new level of rigor that says if something is on the books, it needs to be upheld and not ignored." [...read more]

Scrutiny of CEOs’ Personal Lives Rises in #MeToo Era

Vanessa Fuhrmans and Rachel Feintzeig, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2018

WSJ-6-21-Scrutiny-of-CEOs

Chief executives used to be able to operate with little scrutiny beyond their quarterly results. That's no longer the case.

Decades ago, board members were more likely to look the other way on office romances and other matters considered personal, according to executive recruiters and corporate governance experts, but the role of CEO is more high profile than ever before, limiting the room for transgressions.

"There's a new level of rigor that says if something is on the books, it needs to be upheld and not ignored," said Davia Temin, adding that boards of directors are increasingly concerned about anything that might affect a company's reputation.

Corporate missteps can go viral fast, thanks to cellphone cameras, social media and apps and websites like Glassdoor and Blind—popular with tech workers—where employees can anonymously share feedback. "It's much less easy to have secrets," said Davia Temin. "Organizations are more porous." [...read more]

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