Tag Archives: ethics

Buffett makes good

Like many, I was a little surprised by the initial under-reaction of Warren Buffett’s response to the David Sokol resignation.  In case you missed the full story, Sokol personally bought a boatload of shares of a company that he soon recommended get acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. 

Buffett responded with a rather vanilla quote in the initial press release:  “Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.”  

Quite a flaccid response from the man who once reportedly opined: “Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.”

However, rather than rush to WordPress with a damning blog post, I decided to wait until more facts were made public.  On Monday, an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin restored some of my faith in the Oracle of Omaha.

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Toyota vs. ABC News’ Sensationalism

Earlier this week, I moderated an interactive crisis management workshop on behalf of PRSA Charlotte.  We explored top crisis management observations from 2010 and then held an interactive discussion on BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster and on the Toyota recalls.  (These links provide you with summary points shared with the PRSA members.)

We ran short on time and needed to truncate an important part of the Toyota recall case.  The quick summary raised a few eyebrows in the room and we didn’t have time to explore some of the media sensationalism felt by Toyota.  As a promise made to those members and as interesting reading for the rest, I’d like to summarize that here:

  • By early February, there were swelling reports that “unintended acceleration” was occuring in some Toyota models.  Some believed this was caused by software.  This led to some sensational media coverage, leaving Toyota owners believing in “ghosts in the machine.”
  • On Feb. 22, ABC News’ chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, aired a segment where he interviewed David Gilbert, a professor of automotive technology at Southern Illinois University.  Here’s the segment:

Continue reading Toyota vs. ABC News’ Sensationalism