Gupta has resigned from the boards of Harman International Industries Inc. in the wake of the SEC's accusations. He has also resigned from the boards of AMR Corp., Genpact Ltd., and Procter & Gamble. It is a rapid fall from grace. In October, Alan Lafley, the former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, described Mr. Gupta thusly. “I think of him like Thomas Aquinas,” the philosopher and priest.
This is why. Gupta has a far longer and more important connection to the world’s most prestigious consulting firm, McKinsey. He worked at the firm for 34 years, eventually rising to become its managing director—the McKinsey equivalent of chief executive. He was elected to the top job at McKinsey by his fellow partners at the firm for three consecutive terms—the maximum allowed by the firm’s rules. NetNet's John Carney worries that Rajat Gupta may destroy McKinsey. Or at least generate bad publicity for the Firm.
McKinsey, which has watched this story grow over time, is also worried. On 4 March, the day Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, agreed to testify for the U.S. government at the coming trial of Rajaratnam, McKinsey posted a job opening for a reputation risk specialist whose major responsibilities are described thusly:
1. Monitor globally public references to McKinsey, select clients or specific issues appearing in media and consumer generated media (CGM)/ social technologies, which are potential or actual reputation risks for the Firm
2. Collaborate with the Director of Reputation Risk Management to help report key reputation risks
3. Collaborate with the Reputation Risk Management team to help research and prepare for potential and actual situations:
This job may be based in Brussels, Belgium, London, UK or New York, NY