Friday, February 17, 2012
This is a painful story. The man who blew the whistle on Olympus and its financial chicanery has to fear for his life. It is one more example of a hard truth. Whistleblowers rarely win. Doing the right thing, taking the proper action, standing against the system means one is targeted now and for a long time to come. We can talk about transparency in PR, but the fact is that acting in a transparent manner is not always best for one's career. No one argues that Michael Woodford acted improperly. He put himself and his career at risk. He lost his career and needs personal protection, but executives at Olympus have been arrested, the ugly story about overpayments has come out and auditors are searching for missing millions. Woodford is a model for integrity, but emulating him is risky at best.