Chief Ethics Officers Essay examples

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Chief Ethics Officers

Chief Ethics Officers (CEOs) may not have been very popular around a decade ago, but the demand for such a position is beginning to grow within larger companies. From this point forward, when I mention CEOs in this paper, please understand that I am referring to Chief Ethics officers and not Chief Executive Officers. CEOs began appearing in corporate America around the same time as the inception of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for corporations. According to these guidelines, the companies who have instituted compliance and ethics programs within their institutions wouldn’t have received as severe a punishment as those without the programs in place[2].

Salary.com conducted a survey with the Ethics
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All of these of these officers have obtained at least a masters degree. This trend seems to be in even greater demand as of mid 2005, reports of EOA membership statistics doubled from just 5 years prior.

In 2003 Nortel Networks, a Candian telecom giant, hired Susan Shepard as the new chief ethics and compliance officer. Her enlistment came with a pretty large annual salary and bonus. Shepard would receive a $375,000 salary and a bonus of 60% of her base pay, respectively tied into the company’s balance sheet[2]. Many people complained regarding her bonus structure. They didn’t think that she should receive additional funds based on the success of the company. Mostly due to the history associated with corruption within Nortel, these objectors just wanted to keep the ethics officer “honest”. Others argued that Shepard was a part of the management team and thus should be rewarded for the company’s success.

Kieth Darcey, the executive director of the US Ethics Officer Association stated that ”The risk of doing business has never been greater, so the stakes have become much larger than ever before, prompting more and more companies to develop ethics programs for their organizations…[1]”. Obviously this is of much more importance to the high-profile companies who are always in the front lines. Along with popularity and success, comes greater responsibility.

A great example of the lack

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