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Tone at the top and (former) CEO consulting

Tom Fox | June 1, 2016

One of the most ubiquitous phrases in compliance and indeed all of corporate governance is “tone at the top.” Yet by the very nature of such ubiquitousness, means there is both wide circulation and wide understanding of the term. Moreover, even if a term is overused, it does not mean that the term itself is wrong. It may simply mean there is no other phrase which so well encapsulates a concept.

Valeant is just the latest in a string of companies that found when you bend the rules, lie and cheat your way to enormous profits; when it falls, it falls hard. Beginning last fall when an accounting scandal blew forth from a pharmacy chain controlled by Valeant (off the books entities-in Houston that sounds eerily familiar) up through this spring, the company’s value dropped from $90bn to $10bn. Its (now) former CEO Michael Pearson was credited from the company’s spectacular growth until it all came crashing down.

As noted in a recent Financial Times article the...

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