business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The individual stories keep breaking.

The New Yorker broke a story on Friday about how CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has been accused of sexually harassing a number of women decades ago, which seems ironic since more recently he has been an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement. It is an extraordinary story, and you can read it here.

The CBS board is scheduled to meet today to decide what, if any, action to take.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that “the Cleveland Orchestra has suspended violinist William Preucil, its concertmaster of 23 years, ‘until further notice’ while opening an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.”

Forbes had a piece about how former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter - who lost his job over the use of a racial slur - now is facing allegations that he also has a history of sexually harassing female employees.

Lululemon Athletica announced last week that it has hired Calvin McDonald, formerly of Sephora, to be its new CEO, replacing Laurent Potdevin, who had to step down because of behavior “that did not meet the company’s standards.”

So here’s my question:

Does anyone, anywhere think that this story is anywhere near the end? Does anyone, anywhere think that there wont be more career-ending revelations about men who have behaved badly and victimized women who wanted nothing more than to do their jobs and be treated fairly and wish respect?

And I keep asking myself the same question, over and over:

Who raised these guys? Didn’t they have mothers and sisters and wives and daughters? How did they lose their moral compasses? Who were their fathers? What kinds of male role models did they have who persuaded them that it was okay to abuse women through the abuse of power?

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again.

If you are any sort of leader in any sort of company, it is time for you to step up and say to everyone in your organization, there is no place here for this crap. If you are a victim, here’s my email address and phone number - please get in touch with me now and help me rid this organization of the creeps who are playing this game. I am on your side. And, if you are a predator, get ready to pack your bags ands clean out your office, because there is no room for you here … and I don’t care if you are the biggest superstar in the company. You’re going to be gone, and if we can do it, we’re going to make sure you are going to be prosecuted.

Don’t forget. If living up to your moral and ethical responsibility isn’t enough to get you to do the right thing, remember that you have a fiduciary responsibility to do this. Every suit filed against your company and/or its leadership puts you at risk. You need to get in front of this.

And one more thing. if you are a leader who behaved badly in the past, do us all a favor and step down now. Because the bells of justice eventually are going to toll for you, and it is going to be an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: