Monday, May 14, 2012

An Inappropriate Relationship Torpedoed the CEO

It hasn't been a good month for CEOs.  First, Yahoo's CEO resigned after it was discovered he lied on his resume.  Now the Best Buy CEO resigned after he "violated company policy by engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee that negatively impacted the work environment." 

This is where I become confused. 

Was it an extremely close relationship that caused the resignation?  If so, how close must it be in order to qualify as a violation of company policy?  Is this a euphemism for having sex?  Then why not say so?  And if it was just sex then why even call it a "personal" relationship?  Perhaps it was nothing more than cheap, dirty sex.  If it's not a euphemism for sex, perhaps the company should tell us what constitutes a "close personal relationship."  In fact, shouldn't close and caring relationships be encouraged at work and among people generally? 

Or was it that the employee was female that caused the resignation?  Would it have been OK if the relationship was with a male?  And if so, why?  I just can't figure out why the company referred to the gender of the employee.  Does it matter to the issue of getting rid of the CEO? 

Or was the resignation caused by the negative impact on the work environment?  Would it have been permissible under company policy to have a relationship -- even an extremely close one -- with an employee that does not negatively impact the work environment? 

Best Buy's board of directors said the CEO's conduct "demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a lack of professionalism."  Perhaps he should run for Congress.  That seems to be a collecting pool for men interested in "close personal relationships" with just any attractive woman.  Remember Anthony Weiner, Chris Lee, David Wu, Mark Foley ... the list could go on and on. 

How does Best Buy discipline the CEO?  By giving him $5.39 in severance and stock grants.  That may be just enough to allow his wife to forget all about his cheating days!

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