Our new regular feature at Compliance Week puts a snarky spotlight on individuals, companies, and governments that “Failed It” in the areas of ethics and compliance this week and gives out kudos to those that “Nailed It.” If we missed any or if you have any nominations for next week, let us know on Twitter (@ComplianceWeek) or in the comments section below.

Nailed It


Google: The tech giant rightly takes a lot of heat in this space, particularly when it comes to its shady use of user data, but this week it gets a nod for leading the way on a super-progressive work-from-home policy for its 200,000 employees. CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly announced to all employees of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) that they would be allowed to work from home until July 2021. It is the first big U.S. company to push its return-to-office date so far into the future, and it’s sure to start a trend, at least in the tech sector. According to the Wall Street Journal, Pichai made the decision in part to allow families to plan for uncertain school years with no end to the pandemic in sight. It also allows employees to sign year-long leases if they want to relocate over the next 12 months. Not only does this decision prevent employees from having to make tough decisions regarding childcare and returning to the office, it gives them peace of mind … something that’s been in short supply lately. —Dave Lefort

Target, Walmart: Some of 2020’s unsung heroes can look forward to kicking back and vegging out on Turkey Day this year. Retail giants Target and Walmart announced they are closing their doors on Thanksgiving, both as a tribute to employees and as part of safety measures during the pandemic. Although turkey dinner and pumpkin pie are still months away, retailers are already ironing out their plans for the holiday shopping season to avoid unsafe crowds in stores. If anyone has earned a quiet holiday with their families this year, it’s the hard-working folks in retail who’ve stepped up all year long. —Aly McDevitt

Nike: The sportswear apparel company is revamping its Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) leadership team. The company announced Kellie Leonard, who has served as chief diversity and inclusion officer for the past two years, is stepping down, while Felicia Mayo, formerly of Tesla, has been named chief talent, diversity and culture officer, heading up a new D&I team. CEO John Donahoe said the changes allow the brand “to create a structure that allows for more meaningful change, focusing on equal access to opportunity for all teammates.” —DeAnn Orie

Nordea Asset Management: This month, the company dropped Brazilian meat giant JBS from all its funds due to the company’s handling of deforestation, corruption charges, and employee health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal has reported—Jaclyn Jaeger


Failed It


FIFA: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The president of the world’s soccer governing body is the subject of a criminal probe regarding possible corrupt behavior related to the awarding of the sport’s World Cup hosting rights. Yep, less than 5 years after Sepp Blatter was forced to resign amid widespread criminal activity at FIFA, his replacement—Gianni Infantino—is being looked at for allegedly holding secret meetings with the Swiss attorney general in 2017 while the AG was looking into corruption at the highest levels of soccer. The more things change … —Dave Lefort

Amazon: More than just the world’s most successful online retailer, Amazon offers products and services in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, logistics, electronics, and more. But according to a recent Wall Street Journal story, the company has been meeting with entrepreneurs and investing in startups to gain access to proprietary information, then launching competing products. Meeting with startups and then ripping off their ideas is pretty low, especially when you’re as big a player in the tech space as Amazon. Remember when the company was, itself, a struggling startup? Amazon has apparently forgotten its roots. —Aaron Nicodemus

Ellen DeGeneres Show: I’ll be honest: I genuinely used to enjoy watching Ellen’s show with my grandmother while I was growing up. There was always so much positive energy on set, you couldn’t help but get caught up in it. But rumblings of a toxic culture behind the camera came to a head this week as WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation into the show. The probe comes in the wake of a BuzzFeed News report that alleged racism, fear, and other harmful treatment from producers and managers toward employees. Even if Ellen herself isn’t involved in the alleged toxicity, her entire “be kind” brand is in jeopardy as more distressing details of what happens on her show come out. —Kyle Brasseur

More PPP fraud: Ever play the Florida man game, where you Google “Florida man” and your birthday and read through the insanity that comes through the search engine (this is mine, by the way)? It was only a matter of time before the concept extended its way into the Paycheck Protection Program. This week, a Florida man, David Hines, was arrested and charged by the Department of Justice for obtaining $3.9 million in PPP loans and using the money intended for small businesses to instead buy himself a Lamborghini, among other luxury purchases. Congrats to those with July 27 birthdays—you got yourself a “Florida man” for the ages now. —Kyle Brasseur

David Soloman: The Goldman Sachs CEO, also known as DJ D-Sol, spun records at a charity event called Safe & Sound in the Hamptons on Saturday. The chief executive/EDM enthusiast was the opening act for DJ duo The Chainsmokers. The event proceeded cautiously enough at first—Hamptonites paid up to $25,000 for a socially distanced parking space from which to watch the show. But the event later devolved into unmasked, closely packed crowds when the Chainsmokers took the stage, video footage shows. Governor Andrew Cuomo shamed the event on Twitter and announced an investigation by the Department of Health. Poor DJ D-Sol, I guess he just got caught up in the mix. —Aly McDevitt

President Donald Trump: Continuing his knack for diversion tactics, the president created a stir Thursday by suggesting in a tweet that the United States delay its election … not coincidentally on the same day a report was released naming this the worst economic quarter on record. Show’s over here, folks. —Erin Lynch