"I make Malala's words my own: 'I tell my story not because it is unique but because it is not" and I hope my story can be served as an example, motivation and inspiration to other whistleblowers who are being silenced and their careers and reputations buried around the world by companies that don’t respect their codes of ethics, by employees and executives who steal corporate coffers and the board that pretends nothing happens"
Monday, November 27, 2017
Ask Eni: is Ethics a Value for companies?
The answer will be “no” if we look at my story. In 2001, after learning about a millionaire scheme of internal fraud and corruption at Agip Brazil – controlled by an oil giant and one of the largest companies in the world, the Italian Eni – and following the guidelines contained in the words and spirit of the Code of Ethics, I denounced it to the internal channels of the company. However, contradicting the “best practices” of "Compliance" and "Corporate Governance", thirty days later I was fired. Today, Eni is suing me for "slander" and "defamation", at the Civil Court of Rome, and is demanding an indemnity of 15 million Euro. The whistleblower was turned into a villain!For this company Ethics is not a Value!!!
The answer will be “no” if we look at the results of the "LavaJatoOperation" that, for over three years, has been stripping promiscuity between the public and the private. Every new operation, with each new revelation, it is proven that Ethics is not a Value for many companies which, aiming only for profit, steal precious resources from the Brazilian society that lives a nightmare when it comes to healthy, education and security.
The answer will also be “no” if we take as an example the companies that, year after year, subscribe project at the "Business Ethics Awards" and, at the last minute, they run counter to the rules of the game and cease to participate in this recognition not caring at all if they are putting at risk the credibility and the reputation of the Brazilian Business Ethics Institute. Besides that, they end up botching our traditional initiative, and what is worst, it is as if they are making a rude gesture to the other participating companies. For those companies Ethics is not a Value!
But, fortunately, Ethics is a Value for a significant portion of the companies! And with the new corporate wave of Compliance, many others have been following the virtuous and victorious steps of those that have already noticed that Business Ethics is a path with no return! Now, the corporate values are influencing, including, the values of the human capital of these companies. And it couldn’t be any different! Companies are not living things, it is their collaborators, from the attendant to the president, that give life to the corporations!
Indeed, Brazil lives a unique moment! The page of Gerson’s Law, of impunity and lack of integrity is being turned and a new history is being written in our nation. And you can be sure that the “Ethical Companies” are helping this noble, commendable and exemplary task that will, without a doubt, make our grandchildren live in a country more just, honest, whole and Ethical!