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Tone at the top really does matter

Tom Fox | August 23, 2016

As sure as I write this, someone is out there saying that ‘tone at the top’ is one of the most overblown phrases in compliance. Yet if there is one truism about business, a company’s culture really does start at the top. While Enron did not enshrine that truism, it certainly still remains a potent example. If you put criminals in at the top, the rest of the company will be just as rotten.

We continue to see this play out at the disgraced pharmaceutical company Valeant, which recently announced that Paul Herendeen had taken over as the new Chief Financial Officer. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Herendeen's addition to Valeant's executive leadership team completes a clean sweep from the former management, which had led the company from a stock trading high of $260 per share one year ago; to the $31.28 price point which the share traded at Monday.

Herendeen told the...

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