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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-Reputation Management

‘A new era’: Trump and 2020 hopefuls are singling out more American companies by name

Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, June 13, 2019

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On Monday, after Raytheon and United Technologies announced merger plans, President Trump weighed in again with an opinion about American corporate business decisions, telling CNBC he was "a little concerned" the defense contractor and industrial technology giant's merger could result in less competition if they become "one big fat beautiful company." It was the latest in a long string of examples of Trump — whether by tweet or by tirade — singling out American companies.

But the president has been joined more often in recent months by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who are also increasingly calling out companies by name, directly challenging American businesses in a way that historians and communication experts say underscores a new era.

Communications experts advised companies not to get into Twitter wars, to be responsive but not respond in kind, and to prioritize connecting with White House or legislative staffers early on when making announcements that could come under fire. In most cases, companies should use the opportunity to explain their story or strategy again rather than fight.

"Don't escalate, don't shoot back," said Davia Temin, a communications and management coach on reputation issues. "The last thing an awful lot of people want is a one-upmanship match between the president or presidential candidates and an individual company." [...read more]

The Doyenne of ‘Courage’ in Crisis

Bridget Paverd, PRSA, May 13, 2019

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I spent a morning in New York City with Davia Temin last week.

While respectful of the knowledge of others, and always open to learning, there are just so many accomplished professionals that I am seldom blown away meeting a specialized superstar.

Davia is an exception.

Davia and I discussed crisis as we see it now, in 2019.... A world of 'alternative facts' and the MeToo movement. We shared war stories. I wanted to write down every word she said – she was so generous with advice. We talked about the value of the truth. And of listening. Of "hearing" both clients and audiences and moving our clients into recovery as quickly as possible.

Davia Temin has shaped, and continues to define, contemporary crisis communication. All of us who work in reputation management have been influenced by her leadership. Even those who don't know her name follow her best practices. Barely a month goes by that she is not quoted in major media. [...read more]

The Fixer

Dora Mekouar, VOA Connect, April 12, 2019

Davia Temin is featured in this Voice of America Connect story with reporting by Dora Mekouar. In this video she shares the story behind her woman-owned crisis and reputation management firm and the different tools firms and people can use when faced with catastrophe. [...read more]

Is Wells Fargo stuck in the denial stage of recovery?

Kate Berry, American Banker, April 7, 2019

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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 Tremendous Insult:' Boardroom Leaks Irk Directors

Amanda Gerut, Agenda, April 1, 2019

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Leaks of information about CEO hires, potential acquisitions and boardroom deliberations about executives accused of misconduct have become an increasingly acute concern as more activists, first-time directors and directors with varying business backgrounds join boards.

The spread of confidential information about boardroom discussions is an evergreen source of disquiet among directors. But as more boards contend with messy, difficult issues about company culture, for instance, dissent and rifts can sometimes lead to directors' turning to outside sources to influence decisions. Staying abreast of group dynamics such as distinct majorities and minorities in votes, directors who feel their views aren't being heard and general board dysfunction that can breed an environment in which directors might turn to the press or social media to air their views is important in maintaining an open — but confidential — atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the issue of information seeping out before a board has decided to formally communicate remains a frustration for directors.

Most boardrooms, like a therapist's office or a confessional, are considered "sacrosanct," says Davia Temin, president and CEO of reputation, risk and crisis management firm Temin and Company. However, that confidentiality can break down in certain situations. For instance, leaks can occur when a director tries to influence a board decision and isn't successful. In frustration, a director might turn to the press to put external pressure on the board to get directors to vote a certain way. Activist investors may feel an allegiance to their firm or other outside parties, or founders could disagree with other board members and leak information to try to sway investors to their side. Confidentiality can also break down in a crisis, Temin says.

Still, "even in this world of social media and transparency, boardroom deliberations really do need to be opaque," she says. [...read more]

Jeff Bezos: Extortion and Embarrassing Photos Won’t Distract Me

Spencer Soper and Jeff Green, Bloomberg, February 8, 2019

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Jeff Bezos pre-empting the National Enquirer by laying bare embarrassing personal details may have been the easier task. Now the world's wealthiest man needs to convince investors that locking horns with a powerful American media organization won't end up hurting Amazon.com Inc. itself.

Bezos, Amazon's single largest shareholder, stunned the industry Thursday night when he accused the Enquirer of trying to blackmail him, publishing tense exchanges with the magazine that included prurient details of his relationship with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. The saga now threatens to snowball, exerting even more pressure on a billionaire who already oversees the biggest online retailer, a space exploration company and a leading national news outlet.

For now, investors have shrugged off news of his personal life as unimportant to the value of the company, which posted revenue of $233 billion last year and a record-breaking holiday season. Now that Bezos has twice jumped in front of embarrassing news, the challenge is in maintaining the perception he can focus on his company's growth.

"Bezos is that extraordinary, and Amazon is that extraordinary, that he can bring down a bully," said Davia Temin, founder of the New York based crisis-consultant Temin and Co. "He's got the courage, and the position as the richest man in the United States, and I think his courage in standing up to the extortion is going to outweigh the details behind the extortion." [...read more]

Fearing future #MeToo allegations, a growing number of companies are turning to reputation management firms

Harriet Taylor, CNBC Make It, January 29, 2019

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The business of protecting companies from sexual harassment scandals is booming.

Calls to reputation management firm Temin and Company quadrupled in 2018, according to president and CEO Davia Temin.

"Sexual harassment has not been one of our biggest areas of inquiry, up until now," Temin tells CNBC Make It. But with the rise of the #MeToo movement, companies are finding themselves unprepared and facing huge legal liabilities. Temin's business helps companies — including more than 15 in the Fortune 500 — find and address internal problems, before they become public.

When a company hires Temin and Company, the firm first conducts an in-depth study into the company's leadership and corporate culture. Temin zeroes in on how persistent a culture of sexual harassment is at an organization and what the company is doing wrong, then makes recommendations at the governance level, including, in some cases, firing senior people. Many of Temin's clients are in highly-regulated industries, like pharmaceuticals and finance. [...read more]

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

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, January 20, 2019

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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]

Amazon Execs Pool Stock in Revolt Against Board

Lindsay Frost, Agenda, January 11, 2019

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A group of employees at Amazon are fed up with the lack of transparency and action the e-commerce giant has taken on climate change. So they decided to pool the shares given to them as compensation to file a proposal asking the company to disclose a solid plan on how to tackle the impacts of climate change. According to The New York Times, this is the first employee-sponsored shareholder resolution filed at a tech company.

This comes as employees begin to work more closely with shareholders to drive action on environmental and social issues impacting companies and the communities in which they operate. Experts predict that more employees, particularly those in the millennial generation, will begin to use their shareholder rights to bring these issues directly to the board. Boards should open the lines of communication to company employees and consider disclosing more about environmental and social issues, sources say.

"Employees are taking their employers up on their word to have a voice at the company, which isn't just a good brand message anymore," says Davia Temin, president and CEO of crisis consulting firm Temin and Co. "I don't think this is going to go away any time soon. It's probably going to become a staple of governance issues." [...read more]

Moonves Pay Punishment Caps Year of CEO Naming and Shaming

Jeff Green and Suzi Ring, Bloomberg, December 20, 2018

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CBS Corp.'s decision to fire Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves and strip him of a $120 million payout caps an unprecedented year for naming-and-shaming in the corner office.

Corporate boards have been quicker to take action in 2018, now often announcing a CEO's departure at the same time the misconduct was disclosed, said Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin & Co. in New York. In October and November of last year, there were an average of 40 days between the first accusations and a firing. That has shrunk to almost zero now, she said, citing her database. [...read more]

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