AC Alert for September 12, 2011 Organizational Control – Plus a Whole Lot More!

Primary tabs AC Alert for September 12, 2011 Organizational Control – Plus a Whole Lot More!

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AC Alert for September 12, 2011 Organizational Control – Plus a Whole Lot More! #ESG #Sustainability #CSR #SRI
Friday, September 16, 2011 - 4:00pm

It’s February 2000. Despite months of dire predictions the world has survived the beginning of a new century very nicely. All those Y2K rescue kits and programs which were sold during the run-up to the New Year can be safely tucked away.

Picture yourself at a lunch with some friends at about that time. Where to invest some money is the topic of the day, and the economic state of several large companies is under discussion when suddenly one of your colleagues raises a question about a particular firm’s “Corporate Governance.” Suddenly, it grows very quiet at the table. Most of the group looks at your friend like he is speaking another language! Corporate Governance? What in the world is that?

In 2000 as the calendar pages turned to a new century, Corporate Governance wasn’t on the radar screen for most of us at that time. Before the late-2001 financial implosion at Enron and the 2002 corporate bankruptcy filing at WorldCom, few people in the United States regularly used the term "corporate governance." “Corporate Governance,” "CG," and "corpgov" may have been terms familiar to institutional investors, law firm securities lawyers, corporate secretaries, and a relatively few business and financial journalists, but certainly not to the majority of the population.

After the 2001-2002 rounds of stunning corporate scandals and failures and passage by the congress of the comprehensive package of Sarbanes-Oxley ("SOX") statutes in July 2002, corporate governance became quite familiar to many people in the United States. That especially included journalists who began using the term in headlines, news reports and opinion columns in both print and electronic formats. Cable TV's talking heads were trying to impress by spouting "corporate governance" to their viewers. Even the President of the United States was using the term.

Today there are dozens of free and subscriber-based Web sites devoted to "governance" issues. By definition, corporate governance generally refers to the strategic and operating principles, structures, policies, and practices of corporate boards of directors -- who are elected as their representatives by shareholders -- and the senior "C" suite officers that the boards appoint. “CG” also involves various aspects of the relationship between stockholders and the board and senior officers.

For the editors at Accountability Central, Corporate Governance plays a vital role in virtually every issue we address and article we include on AC. "Accountability" -- the word is becoming ever more important to leaders in the private, social and public sectors.  The term held accountable is ever-more prevalent in news reports and media commentary. 

Expectations of greater "accountability" are key factors in shaping public opinion and public perception of organizations. In AC's Corporate Governance Section, our editors focus on news, commentary, research, trends, and actions of key players shaping "accountability" and “corporate governance” on individuals, business organizations, public agencies and social institutions. Here’s a sample of some recent excerpts from our Corporate Governance Section:

Yahoo's firing of CEO draws fire
(Source: Chicago Tribune) The firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz by phone, rather than in person, has elevated the manner in which she was let go into an issue of its own.

Moynihan Tries to Keep BofA Intact as Mortgage Loans Fall Apart
(Source: Bloomberg) BofA Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan has grabbed attention by reshuffling his management ranks, elevating a pair of new co-chief operating officers and ousting Sallie Krawcheck, the high-profile head of wealth management. After all the excitement, the bank’s shares went up 19%.

Gaps Between Pay Of CEOs and Average Workers Is Huge And Getting Wider
(Source: The 18th annual executive compensation survey details the growing income gap between workers and CEOs. The national ratio for CEO-to-worker pay grew 20% from last year now standing at 325 to 1.

ISO and Global Reporting Initiative increase cooperation on sustainable development
(Source: Global Reporting Initiative) ISO and GRI, have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase mutual cooperation. Signed in Geneva, Switzerland, the agreement is intended to leverage the activities of the two organizations teaming up with other partners, participating in the development of new or revised documents, joint promotion and communication.

Starbucks and Conservation International extend longstanding partnership
(Source: Conservation International/Starbucks) Conservation International has signed an agreement with Starbucks Coffee Company, renewing their partnership designed to build on a13-year effort to support a resilient supply chain, preserve biodiversity and benefit local communities.

Say on pay’ votes show Canadian shareholders happier than U.S. investors
(Source: CTV News) Canadian shareholders are happier with executive compensation plans than their U.S. counterparts, giving a thumbs up to all 71 major public companies that offered shareholders an opportunity to weigh in on executive compensation schemes.

Corporate Governance Gets Greener
(Source: Motley Fool) As ecological issues threaten to put shareholder returns at ever greater risk, sound environmental policies have increasingly become an integral part of most well-run companies.

As demonstrated by these articles, our corporate governance section casts a wide net for news, commentary and research on CG.  That’s consistent with the mission of Accountability Central, which is designed to be the clearinghouse for news, intelligence, insight, perspective, opinion, and advice on activities now being grouped under the umbrella of "accountability." 

Before the numerous events commemorating the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001 conclude, we wanted to bring your attention to a new, compelling commentary by G&A’s CEO and Chairman Hank Boerner. He offers some very personal reflections on the magnitude of the attack, and also shares his personal notes and recollections from that fateful week. We urge you to take a few minutes and read his comments which follow: 

Remembering September 11, 2001 – Ten Years On
(Source: Hank Boerner) AC Commentator Hank Boerner raises the questions we’ve all had in our minds since the 9/11 attacks: What manner of madness could compel a person to do this?  What mad obsessions or delusions? What total disdain for one’s own life, or the lives of many others on board those aircrafts?

Throughout the day our editors post new content in virtually all topic sections. We invite you to make Accountability Central your computer's Home Page and keep up-to-date on critical "accountability developments." We are also interested in your comments and suggestions. Send them to

This is just a sampling of the information in our Alert. Go here for the full text of this alert, and more information on Sustainability, and other Accountability related topics.