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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

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

DandB-Pot-Podcasts-and-Elon-Musk

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]

Opinion: Facebook’s Zuckerberg had 15 minutes to respond to privacy crisis — he took four days

Howard Gold, MarketWatch, March 22, 2018

Marketwatch-Zuckerberg

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence late Wednesday afternoon.

In a long and technical statement posted on his Facebook page, the CEO addressed the massive misuse of personal information in which a researcher was able to release data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked closely with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Davia Temin said Facebook missed its chance to shape the narrative in its favor, and Zuckerberg's statement did nothing to change that. "This is a totally insufficient response, both operationally and emotionally," she said. "Yes, it is prescriptive, yet strangely hollow, limited, unemotional, and lacking any form of apology." She added that it made Facebook look like it was "fiddling while the world is burning." [...read more]

Nike Scandal Threatens Its Image With Women at Tumultuous Time

Matthew Townsend, Bloomberg, March 22, 2018

Bloomberg-Nike

It's never a good time for companies to grapple with a scandal over sexist behavior. At Nike Inc., it's especially awkward given its ambition to target female shoppers.

The world's largest sports brand expects much of its future growth to come from selling more sneakers and gear to young women. And fresh concerns about a locker-room mentality could hurt Nike's reputation with a demographic group that it desperately needs. That risk looms over a company that saw two high-profile executives step down last week amid a broader review of misconduct.

"It's an enormous reputational risk," said Davia Temin. "We know millennials want to work for places that have a higher purpose. They are going to put their buying power in the same place."

The company is especially ripe for being deemed phony and inauthentic, she said. Unlike some other businesses caught up in the #MeToo movement -- a push to improve treatment of women, especially in the workplace -- Nike has marketed itself as a champion of female empowerment, Temin said. Anything that undercuts that image could be a brand killer. [...read more]

President Trump Cedes Moral Leadership To Big Business

Alexander C. Kaufman, The Huffington Post, August 19, 2017

A deadly attack by an avowed white supremacist shocked the nation. The president's response came swiftly, and triggered raw emotion. Despite a sometimes strained relationship with the White House, corporate board rooms stayed silent, spared the need to weigh in.

That was 2015.

This week, chief executives at some of the country's biggest companies tossed out usual protocols and disavowed the sitting commander-in-chief after President Donald Trump refused to single out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

Of course, distance from the leader of the ruling political party won't cost executives their jobs like it might lawmakers facing reelection in an era of hyper partisanship. At a particularly circus-like time in politics, this gives companies the ability to "become the adults in the room," said Davia Temin, a management coach and reputation consultant who worked with some of the companies whose leaders resigned from Trump's councils this week.

"Business has a planning and strategic horizon that is further out than four years or eight years or 12 years," she told HuffPost. "They can actually have a counterpoint and be the counterbalance to the short governance by tweet." [...read more]

The trust question: Can Barclays Bank rebuild the brand?

Barbara Kimmel, The FCPA Blog, March 17, 2016

Jes Staley is the newly appointed American CEO of the beleaguered British Barclays Bank. He recently said, "I do believe that trust is returning to our institution. But we will never rest, we are never done. We have to focus on building that trust every day."

We asked our Trust Alliance members to weigh in on the steps Barclays new American CEO should take to build trust and ethics.

Davia Temin, a leading reputation and crisis response consultant, said, "Rebuilding trust in financial institutions is a complex algorithm that can test the skills of the best financial engineering 'rocket scientist.' Far from simply making a pronouncement of one's intent (although that can be the first step), the organization needs to first deconstruct all the elements that went into building trust in their particular firm in the first place, analyze all the things that went wrong, and then construct a plan to overcorrect the breaches. Because simply fixing them will not rebuild trust, it will only, maybe, stop the erosion. But this is seriously hard work." [...read more]

For Interim CEOs, a Job Full of Pitfalls

Rachel Feintzeig and Joann S. Lublin, The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2016

It's hard being the in-between boss. The temporary chief executives of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. are currently getting a taste of the challenge while the firms' full-time leaders are undergoing medical treatment.

Few management assignments hold as many pitfalls as that of the interim boss, say those who advise and research such leaders. Temporary leaders must show strength and rally the troops during uncertain times, but they also can't make bold changes or act like they will run the place long-term.

"It's a short runway," says Davia Temin, CEO of Temin & Co. "An interim CEO will rarely be able to change the culture." [...read more]

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