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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

There’s a ‘Fanatical Group of Worshippers’ in Your Stock. What’s Next?

Lindsay Frost, Agenda, June 28, 2021

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AMC Entertainment Holdings CEO Adam Aron has been actively embracing on Twitter, YouTube and other platforms a new trove of investors who propelled the company's stock price up more than 300% in the past month. The latest Reddit-driven phenomenon has companies reconsidering how to communicate with these investors and encourage them to stick around — especially for those companies that could use the investment to pay off debt and invest in innovations.

The so-called meme stock frenzy, which has led to a deluge of retail investors pouring into AMC, GameStop, Clover Health and the GEO Group, is a hotly debated topic on Wall Street, but for boards overseeing companies that suddenly have an influx of retail investors, sources say it's important to nail down the right messaging, consider incentivizing these investors and use the cash wisely.

"This brave new world of all of these Internet platforms and every person having their own voice has the power to whipsaw pretty much everything we thought we knew, and that extends to the fundamental value of stock," says Davia Temin, president and CEO of risk consulting firm Temin & Co. "The wise board, and certainly the wise company, has to understand what is going on and figure out the way to communicate to all parties in a way that engenders trust." [...read more]

Know the Rules of the Game: Leading Through Crisis & Chaos

Desirée Patno, Know the Rules of the Game, June 17, 2020

We're no longer in crisis, we're in chaos. Here are rules to help you lead – yourselves, your family, company, and community – through crisis and chaos, with honor, integrity, and your reputation intact. From one of the most sought-after crisis strategists in the world.

Desirée Patno, host, Know the Rules of the Game Podcast, is joined by Davia Temin to discuss leading through crisis and chaos.

To download or subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, CLICK HERE.

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]

Harvey Weinstein Is Convicted of Rape in Case That Sparked #MeToo

Patricia Hurtado and Rebecca Greenfield, Bloomberg, February 24, 2020

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Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and a criminal sexual act, more than two years after allegations against the former Hollywood power broker sparked the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein faces a five- to 25-year sentence for the criminal sexual act and as long as four years on a third-degree rape count. He was acquitted of rape in the first degree and charges of predatory sexual assault that could have resulted in a life sentence.

The 67-year-old movie producer, who is due to be sentenced on March 11 and plans to appeal, heard the verdict without expressing any emotion in an otherwise silent courtroom -- though he then turned to his lawyers and said, "But I'm innocent, I'm innocent, I'm innocent. How can this happen in America?" one of them said after court.

Since the allegations against Weinstein were first widely reported, some 1,400 powerful people have been publicly accused of harassment, abuse or assault, according to Temin, the crisis consultants. Many suffered professional consequences of one kind or another. The crisis consultancy Temin & Co. puts the current number of Weinstein accusers at 111. [...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]

Old Board Structures ‘Won’t Work Tomorrow’

Stephanie Forshee, Agenda, December 20, 2019

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Agenda's survey showed that audit committee directors have been tasked with taking the lead on cyber risks, at least according to 23.8% of survey respondents. And almost 36% of respondents feel that substantiated whistle-blower claims belong with the audit committee. Even though sexual misconduct allegations have been high-risk areas for legal recourse from shareholders, the committee of choice isn't always with audit- or risk-focused directors.

According to the quarterly survey, 42.7% of respondents said that MeToo issues don't belong to an individual committee but rather the full board. By contrast, 12.2% felt that MeToo issues don't even belong in the boardroom to begin with.

But then there are the 18% who think the comp committee should be in charge of Me Too issues. Corporate governance professionals think that as an offshoot of human capital issues, cultural concerns have increasingly been landing with the comp committee.

Davia Temin, president and CEO of Temin & Co., says that in her experience with boards, the audit and risk committee members are typically the directors who primarily oversee sexual misconduct allegations, or sometimes the complaints will go to the executive committee. "A fair amount of time, those committees will inform the whole board if the issue is important enough," Temin explains.

Temin notes that the push for boards to handle concerns of sexual harassment or misconduct is happening more frequently and is largely being driven by boards that have more women on them. "Often we find that it is women corporate directors who will champion MeToo issues being examined at the board level," Temin says.

As for comp committees' overseeing sexual misconduct claims, Temin thinks that responsibility should lie elsewhere, since executives subject to misconduct allegations aren't just having their pay docked but are often being ousted from the companies if they are found guilty. "Comp committees historically have handled the issue when penalties have not included letting executives go, but instead included the forfeiture or clawback of compensation as a penalty for sexual harassment. Today, we know that this remedy is not seen to be as viable under public scrutiny as it once was. Thus, stronger measures are usually taken."

The bottom line, in Temin's opinion, is that "what worked yesterday no longer works today, and most assuredly will not work tomorrow." [...read more] (subscription required)

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

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, December 11, 2019

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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]

Want to Date a Colleague? Think Carefully

Vanessa Fuhrmans and Rachel Feintzeig, The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2019

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Companies have increased scrutiny of consensual relationships among colleagues in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Whatever the corporate dating policy is, the underlying message to senior executives is: Just don't do it. Mark Wiseman, a potential successor to BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Laurence Fink, became the latest high-level boss to run afoul of company rules on romantic relationships at work.

Increasingly, organizations are hoping relationships just don't crop up in their offices at all, said Davia Temin, CEO of Temin and Company, a Manhattan-based reputation and crisis-management firm. Whether it is a direct message or one read between the lines, "some places are saying, 'Just say no,'" she said.

Some companies have had longstanding policies around relationships at work, but they often weren't well-enforced rules. That is changing. Avoiding mixing love and work is the safer choice today, Ms. Temin said. [...read more]

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