Thursday, April 20, 2006

CEO Apologies

When I entered "CEO" into Google images, one of the pictures at the very top was an illustration (shown here) about CEO apologies. I found that ironic since I had cut out an article from today's New York Times (April 20) on "The High Cost of the Korean Mea Culpa." Two companies with Korean connections had apologized for misdeeds -- Lone Star and Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. The photo in the Times shows top executives bowing in an act of contrition. Apparently apologies like this are standard operating procedure in South Korea and are done in the hopes of reducing legal punishment. In addition to apologies, South Korean companies contribute funds to good causes. Hyundai's deep executive bows were accompanied by a $1 billion gift to social welfare programs (no small change). The entire act of donating money for wrongdoing in South Korea has its critics but certainly does not condone the misbehavior in the first place. Reputations cannot be bought.


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