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Temin and Co.

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"Gynecologist’s Actions Bring Down USC’s President" 

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"Harassment Claims Cost Wynn Resorts its Leader" 

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"NBC News Faces Questions After Lauer Firing" 

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"Equifax Hit With Massive Reputation Breach" 

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"Fujifilm Addresses Accounting Problems" 

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"Hacked Twitter Account Gives McDonald’s Indigestion" 

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"Qualcomm Chips Away at South Korea Probe" 

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"Tyson Finds Itself in Game of Reputation Chicken" 

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"Delta Grounded After Computer Crash" 

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"Signet Confronts Diamond Debacles" 

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"NFL Goes for Knockout Against New York Times" 

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"OSI Fights Back In China" 

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"Tesla Slams the Brakes on Seat Belt Problem" 

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"United Airlines Faces Turbulence Amid Federal Probe" 

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 "Accounting Problems Hobble Toshiba" 

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 "Kiss-and-Tell Fears After Adult Friend Finder Breach" 

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"Ice Cream Recall Snags Blue Bell" 

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"Williams, NBC Between Iraq and a Hard Place" 

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"Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut" 

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"How Well Did Tesco Account for Itself?" 

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In the News-Perception & Psychology

Wells Fargo’s Duke Quits Before Turn in Washington Hot Seat

Hannah Levitt, Bloomberg, March 9, 2020

Bloomberg 3-9-20

Wells Fargo & Co. Chair Betsy Duke resigned from the company's board ahead of a dramatic congressional hearing set for this week, succumbing to the same political pressures that have claimed multiple former leaders of the bank.

The lender said Monday that board member Charles Noski will replace Duke as chair. Duke faced a growing chorus of calls for her departure after Democrats atop the House Financial Services Committee issued a scathing report last week on the bank's response to a series of consumer scandals.

The latest set of hearings begins Tuesday with an appearance by CEO Charlie Scharf, less than five months into his tenure. The committee will seek his thoughts on next steps for what it calls "the bank that broke America's trust."

Scharf is preparing to answer questions on what he's doing to get back in the good graces of customers, regulators and the public. He's met with nearly half the House Financial Services Committee, including Waters, since taking over in October, people with knowledge of the meetings said.

He'll be able to point to changes he's made since taking the helm, including adding new leaders and settling past probes. And he can tout the bank's recent announcements on minimum-wage increases, limited-fee bank accounts and lending to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Scharf "can come on as a hard-nosed leader who is going to do the bidding of the public and fix things," Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin & Co., said in an interview. "America still loves a comeback kid."

The board members faced a different task, Temin said. "It's harder to be part of the problem and then the solution." [...read more]

The Cost of MeToo Claims

Stephanie Forshee, Agenda, January 17, 2020

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When supermodel Kate Upton went public two years ago and accused Guess co-founder Paul Marciano of groping her breasts — allegedly without her consent — word spread fast. Guess Inc. had been trading at $18.37 per share just a day earlier, but its stock dropped by 18% upon the news about Marciano, making it the worst trading day in six years as the company lost $250 million in value.

Due to the reputational damage brought by a MeToo claim, plus the piling on of shareholder lawsuits alleging the information was material for investors, analysts and executives have found themselves rethinking how to calculate the impact of these allegations on businesses.

Since MeToo received a platform in recent years, 285 companies have been hit with claims — 199 private companies and 86 public companies — according to Temin & Co., which tracks sexual misconduct allegations. Davia Temin, CEO of the risk and reputation firm, says, "Instead of putting their head in the sand not wanting to know, the best boards are saying, 'We do want to know. We want to know before any problem arises.'" [...read more] (subscription required)

Wells Fargo Quashes Hope That Its Scandals Are Nearly Resolved

Hannah Levitt, Bloomberg, January 27, 2020

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Wells Fargo & Co.'s finance chief was promising analysts they would be kept abreast of the bank's efforts to resolve scandals when his new boss chimed in. "I just want to be clear, I'm not suggesting here that any of these public issues will be closed this year," Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf said earlier this month. "The time frames will be driven by when we accomplish that work and when the regulators are satisfied by it."

The firm has yet to reach settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission after setting aside more than $3 billion for litigation in the second half of last year. And in its quarterly filings, the bank lists an array of other open-ended probes, investigations and sanctions including a Federal Reserve-imposed growth cap.

It's a strikingly long tail for a scandal that began with the 2016 revelation that employees had opened millions of potentially fake accounts to meet sales goals, possibly overcharging customers by a few million dollars. That unleashed a public and political backlash that has kept Wells Fargo in a harsh light ever since.

"There's this sort of free-floating anger and fury that's out there in the populace, and anything that sticks its head up that's a problem that isn't resolved in the right way, it coalesces," Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin & Co., said in an interview. "That fury is magnificent -- it is stunning in its destructive power." [...read more]

The Ghosn Brand Is Broken. These Spin Doctors Say How to Fix It

David Heller, Corinne Gretler and Jeff Green, Bloomberg, January 12, 2020

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Carlos Ghosn captured the world's attention by being spirited out of Japan in a private jet concealed in a box often used for audio equipment with the help of a security detail led by a former Green Beret. He evaded two trials on charges of financial misconduct. Now he wants to salvage his shattered reputation.

"The world does love an anti-hero," said Davia Temin. "The world does love someone who bucks rules and regulations -- if they're a romantic figure. He has made himself into quite a romantic figure. As tempting as is it to tell his story, more and more, the risk now isn't just that he will sour public support, but that he will do something to make himself a further target." [...read more]

Harvey Weinstein Sex Abuse Settlement Is Not an ‘Oh, Wow’ Number

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, December 11, 2019

Bloomberg 12-11-19 Weinstein Settlement

A tentative $47 million settlement between Harvey Weinstein and dozens of his accusers is "flawed," advocates say, but still an important vindication.

"I think it's just on the margin of being seen as serious, but it certainly does not deliver the message that $100 million would deliver, or $200 million would deliver," said Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin and Company, which has tracked more than 1,400 people accused of harassment and other misbehavior since the Weinstein allegations surfaced. "This isn't some 'oh, wow' number."

Considering the scope of the allegations and their impact, Temin and others expected a higher figure. [...read more]

Is Wells Fargo stuck in the denial stage of recovery?

Kate Berry, American Banker, April 7, 2019

American-Banker

Since Wells Fargo's phony-accounts scandal broke in 2016, the bank's public and private reactions have diverged significantly.

After an initial bout of blame directed at the thousands of employees who opened the fake accounts in an effort to meet aggressive sales goals, the bank pivoted to a public position of contrition, saying it was dedicated to fixing its corporate culture to ensure nothing like that could happen again. That line was offered by then-CEO Tim Sloan last month when he testified to Congress, in which he said the bank had made significant progress in atoning for its mistakes.

Yet in private, bank executives and many rank-and-file employees have taken the view that the bank's problems are largely not of its own making and have been overblown by overbearing regulators, scoop-hungry reporters, hostile members of Congress, and a system that has put its actions under an (unfair) microscope.

In short, the bank has appeared to be in denial that it has a problem at all, some argue.

"Denial is one of the hardest issues for a company to address after a crisis," said Davia Temin, president and CEO of management consulting firm Temin and Company. "It's not over just because Wells is ready for it to be over." [...read more]

A Year of Reckoning for Davos Man (and One Woman) in the Alps

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, January 20, 2019

Bloomberg-1-21-19

These are uncomfortable times for the archetypal men of Davos — and at least one woman.

Established in 1971 to support a global, capitalist vision of the future, the World Economic Forum in Davos this year also offers a reminder of the public humbling of some of its most visible champions. Dozens of the assembled business leaders and exemplars present and past have been brought low by a wide range of misconduct allegations, including sexual harassment, mismanagement and financial misconduct.

"At Davos they are both reflecting and setting the culture," said Davia Temin, whose crisis consultant company has tallied more than 1,000 people, mostly men, accused of harassment and other misdeeds in the last year. That same list includes more than two dozen men who are present or past Davos attendees. "They reflect the culture of leadership, and sometimes looking in the mirror helps to spur the discussion." [...read more]

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]

Hawaii’s Investment Chief Got Fired. Then the Gossip Started.

Leanna Orr, Institutional Investor, April 23, 2018

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Firing the chief investment officer was the final order of business at the Hawaii pension board's regular meeting on February 12. CIO Vijoy Chattergy was blindsided, insiders say. After seven years with the organization, Chattergy was told by his bosses that Monday that he was done, effective immediately.

When the news broke, people were just asking, 'What happened? What did he do?'" By the time Chattergy's ouster was hot industry gossip coast to coast — that is, within days — it was no longer a mystery. The narrative took hold that Chattergy had blown up Hawaii's pension fund with a risky bet turned bad, then lost his job over it.

ERS executive director Thomas Williams initially refused to discuss the situation, though ultimately he notified the staff by email. Williams said what an organization's leader should after executive upheaval, according to crisis PR consultant Davia Temin. He just did it a month too late.

"People are let go all the time," says Temin, who reviewed the timeline and the documents associated with Chattergy's ouster. "Whether the reasons are pretty benign or more egregious, the best practice is to act with the most elegance possible. And that means you allow someone their dignity as they leave," she notes. "You don't malign them or allow them to be maligned by doing and saying nothing, by keeping it a mystery. People will fill in that huge void with something far worse than reality — it's human nature." [...read more]

Leadership at the Crossroads Part 3: Courage to Speak Boldly When it Counts.

Gloria Feldt, The Sum - The Meaning of This Week, April 2, 2018

The Sum The Meaning of This Week

This article's author asks readers whether they plan to delete their Facebook accounts in the wake of the controversy that threatened to unseat the social media giant. She also looks to Davia Temin's Forbes post about what Mark Zuckerberg should have done and said.

"Facebook has been larger than life in our worlds for over a decade," said Davia Temin. "We have trusted it enough to bring it into our homes and bedrooms, our commutes and workplaces, our friendships and our families until it has almost reached ubiquity. So Facebook's responses to such a larger-than-life issue as this — the possible dissolution of our sovereign decision-making process — must be bigger than life, too. And far, far better." [...read more]

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