Feedback

Personal Views of an Executive

DILEMMA

I work for a high tech company and love the work. But the environment has become increasingly tense because of the actions of our senior executive. He has discovered blogging, and his writing is sexist and hateful. He believes that his blog is personal and divorced from his role with the company. But because of his high profile with the company I don’t see how he can separate his role with the company and his personal views. It seems to me that everything he says reflects negatively on the company, hurting us both externally and internally. It would be great if he could use his writing to promote the company, or at least be broadly supportive of company objectives, but he instead wants to write about strong and controversial personal opinions.

Is there anything that I can or should do? I am personally frustrated, but also frightened for the future of the company.

Frustrated

RESPONSE

Dear Frustrated,

Not knowing the content of his postings, it’s difficult for me to get a sense for their tone. Do other people have the same reaction you do? If his postings are indeed sexist and hateful, you are right to be concerned. As a senior executive, he is a public representative of the company. Moreover, offensive postings (if they are read by employees) may undermine his ability to lead within your organization. This is a matter that should concern other senior executives as well as your company board. If he does have a high profile and his posts are so distasteful, I would be surprised (in our age of social media) if they are not already aware of the situation.

Kenman Wong
Professor of Ethics, School of Business and Economics
Seattle Pacific University

If you have an ethical dilemma at your workplace,
email Ethics at Work (eaw@ethix.org).
We will publish some of these in
Ethix along with our diagnosis.

Share Your Thoughts