Public accusations of corporate misbehavior and harassment have fallen to their lowest level since October 2017, when allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement.
Twelve complaints generated media coverage in May compared with a peak of 143 last October, according to data compiled by crisis consultant Temin and Co.
There are lots of reasons the pace of allegations has slowed, said Davia Temin. The initial outpouring included decades worth of historical revelations, clearing a kind of backlog. The news cycle has also moved on, and companies have gotten more sophisticated in the way they manage both bad behavior and negative PR. […read more]
Nation’s biggest bank sets off a Twitter explosion with an edgy motivation tweet, suggesting people make their own coffee to save money. A few people supported the bank, but it was a rough week as the media and politicians piled on. What can other financial institutions learn from this social media nightmare? Some pointed advice from bank marketing experts.
Reputation and crisis-management consultant Davia Temin put it a little more bluntly in response to questions from The Financial Brand: “This was a case of a big bank being targeted and used to make a political point. Politicians pounced on a Chase marketing tweet that was a little Millennial, but essentially harmless.”
“I think the tone for financial institutions — and all of us — needs to be inspirational, aspirational, kind and witty. It’s the best way, and also much harder to attack. I might have suggested a Twitter response that was both light and serious, like this: ‘We clearly must not have had our morning coffee today — we are so sorry, and never meant to offend anyone with our morning tweet. Our goal was only to help suggest ways we can all save on the small things in order to reach big dreams’.” […read more]
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]
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]
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]
Spencer Soper and Jeff Green, Bloomberg, February 8, 2019
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]
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]
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]
Jeff Green and Suzi Ring, Bloomberg, December 20, 2018
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]
Jessica Brice and Jeff Green, Bloomberg, October 17, 2018
One year after the #MeToo movement began, Davia Temin’s team is still adding names to what’s known in her office as “the” index. It now totals more than 900, mainly men across the country (only 29 are women) accused of sexual harassment or assault or worse. The number’s still not very large, in Temin’s view.
“I’m sure this is the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg,” she said from the Manhattan headquarters of the crisis-management and consulting company she founded 21 years ago. “Believe me, you’re not hearing the worst stories. The worst cases — those people are still out there licking their wounds.” […read more]