Businesses Are Cracking Down In CEO Searches In Light Of Sexual Harassment Accusations

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Various businesses are searching for ways to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace by enacting stricter background checks in their search for CEOs, according to a Wednesday report.

Leaders in companies are saying that they are either running harsher background checks to find any untoward behavior in an applicant’s past, while some others have expressed a willingness to fire any higher ups accused of sexual harassment, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“As board members, we have to put our own elbow grease and time into thoroughly checking out the character of any CEO we hire,” Brent Saunders, chief executive of Allergan PLC, told TheWSJ, adding  “reputation management is becoming an increasingly important component of the valuation of a business.”

A wave of sexual harassment accusations has rocked the media, politics and business world. A bombshell New York Times report revealed numerous accounts of alleged sexual harassment and assault on the part of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The producer has denied all accounts of non-consensual sex. Other men, like NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer, have lost their jobs over such allegations.

One director believes that some potential CEOs may have to sign contracts that will allow for punishment or firing should allegations of sexual misconduct in the past resurface.

“Today, they (directors) want a clean Gene,” Peter D. Crist, the chairman of  Crist/Kolder Associates, told TheWSJ. “In the past, some boards overlooked the whiff of scandal.”


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