Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dennis Kozlowski's bum rap?

My weekly post on the s+b blogs is about former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who paid an unjustly high price for the crime of losing perspective according to a new book by Catherine S. Neal.

Beware the “CEO Bubble”
After eight years in prison, Dennis Kozlowski is scheduled to be released on January 17. You remember him: the former CEO of Tyco who Time magazine dubbed “Dennis the Menace” during the accounting scandals of 2001 and 2002 (which occurred before the lending scandals of 2008, which
occurred before whatever scandals are currently being perpetrated). In 2005, New York state found Kozlowski guilty of stealing US$97 million of his company’s money, and handed down a supersized sentence for his crimes—eight-and-a-third to 25 years in the slammer and $167 million in restitution and fines. Just about everybody at the time was pleased with the verdict, but, according to Catherine S. Neal, author of Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), it was a bum rap.

Neal, a business ethics and business law professor at the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University, became interested in Kozlowski after reading case studies of the Tyco scandal. She contacted him with questions and spent 30 months studying his case. Her conclusion: “The evidence in the case speaks for itself. I do not believe Dennis Kozlowski committed any crimes. I do not believe he ever intended to commit any crimes.”

So why did Kozlowski go to jail?... read the rest here

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