Stonecipher himself told employees that any senior executive found violating the rules would be punished. Seemingly, the system works. Only his removal from the post would satisfy the principles he himself had created, as Stonecipher admitted in an interview, 'We set - hell, I set - a higher standard here. I violated my own standards. I used poor judgment.' (---------, 2005)
It's a bizarre story under the circumstances. Was Boeing's CEO really ready to live up to the standards he was setting for his organization According to reports, the exact details of where his behavior violated the code of conduct are not publicly known. But as the architect of the initiative, he was as susceptible as anyone to its repercussions. Meanwhile, the PR industry has been under attack for allegedly unethical or ambiguous practices, particularly relating to a significant client base of its own - the US government, as well as local governments.
If Boeing was trying to send a clear signal about ethics when it ousted CEO Harry Stonecipher, it failed. Though Boeing insists he wasn't axed for adultery, a lot of think the company was out to pin the scarlet letter on Harry before shipping him off to face his wife of 50 years. "It is all very clear and very simple," wrote Tom Simmerman, a Boeing worker in Fullerton, Calif. "How can a CEO ask his employees to show loyalty to the cause when he is unable to demonstrate loyalty to his own wife and family" (Litterick, 2005) Dozens of readers agreed -- with some detouring to question about his marriage and accuse him of "moral relativism." But is it so outrageous to suggest that the rules of Harry Stonecipher's marriage are between Mr. and Mrs. Stonecipher, and no concern of The Boeing Co
Stonecipher had come out of retirement at the end of 2003 to replace Phil Condit when he resigned as chairman and chief executive. That was the first time Boeing's leader had not come from within the Boeing heritage part of the company. (Wallace, Pd. 1) On top of all this, the investigation determined the relationship was consensual and had no effect on the company's business. The investigation also determined that neither the career nor the compensation of the female executive was influenced by the relationship. I don't believe Stonecipher should have been forced to resign. A voluntarily handed over resignation is still understandable, but the breach of policy applies to all and applies equally. If lower staff can be given a second chance then the CEO can certainly be given another chance as well.
Wallace, James. BOEING: LOOKING FOR A REAL OUTSIDER (Business).Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA)(May 25, 2005):pD1.
Litterick, David. Watch for the puff of white smoke from the Boeing boardroom.(City).Daily Telegraph (London, England)(April 16, 2005):pNA.FromCustom Newspapers
----------------. Boeing's big year.The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington) (via Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News)(Dec 30,