MISSION INTANGIBLE

M:I Products

MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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Crisis Communicator Creates Reputational Crisis

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, July 09, 2017
Crisis communicator culpable for reputational crisis with false news stirring up racial tensions. It is a question of ethics.

“Much of what has been alleged about our work is, we believe, not true — but enough of it is to be of deep concern,” Mr Henderson (Bell Pottinger’s CEO) added. “These activities should never have been undertaken.”

Read more in the Financial Times.

Activist Bloodlust: CEOs and Chairmen…Who’s Next?

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, July 06, 2017
In June, 8 CEOs resigned or announced their departures. In the first five months of 2017, 13 companies with market values of more than $40 billion installed new CEOs—including American International Group Inc. In at least 1/3 of the cases, activists were involved reports the Wall Street Journal.

The bloodlust continues.

Meanwhile, at Ericson where Chairman Leif Johansson is stepping down under pressure according to the Financial Times, “activist shareholder (Cevian Capital) quickly heaped heavy criticism on Ericsson’s board given the group’s poor performance, with Christer Gardell, Cevian’s co-founder, saying they had “done a very poor job”.”

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Reputation Crises Experienced Personally

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, June 29, 2017
“When reputational crises hit, market cap, sales, margins and profits are all on the line…but it’s not only the corporate entity that faces challenges – individuals in leadership, particularly CEOs, face personal risk as well.”

Read more in the Property Casualty 360.

Reputation Crisis Triggers Bloodbath at Uber

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Uber has become a charnel house

“The ferocity and velocity of attacks in this era of weaponized social media often leads companies to try to satisfy the blood lust with human sacrifice – in the form of resignations, terminations and compensation claw-backs.”

Read more in the Insurance Business America.

Another CEO Head, This Time Deservedly, Handed to God(s) of Reputation

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, June 21, 2017
From the man who noted last week that Uber was suffering from a “reputational deficit”.

“There will be many pages in the history books devoted to [Travis Kalanick],” wrote Bill Gurley, an Uber board member representing one of the firms that demanded Mr Kalanick’s resignation, in a tweet. “Very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world.”

Read more in the Financial Times.

Whole Foods: Another Activist v. CEO Battle

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, June 15, 2017
Whole Foods’ John Mackey is at war with activist fund Jana

“They’re greedy bastards, and they’re putting a bunch of propaganda out there, trying to destroy my reputation and the reputation of Whole Foods, because it’s in their self-interest to do so.” ...Whole Foods has acknowledged problems — same-store sales have been falling for almost two years — but says it has a turnround plan and has promised to proceed with “a greater sense of urgency”. Last month it replaced its chief financial officer, chairman and several board members.


Read more in the Financial Times.

Speaking Volumes When D&O Defenses are Muted

C. HUYGENS - Monday, May 22, 2017
A 3rd party’s signal is what really great CEOs need to protect their #reputation … when all other strategies fall silent.

There is a range of alternative defensive strategies — none of which are particularly promising. The status quo, silence, is a path to disaster today.

Read more in Risk & Insurance

Reputational Value Rarely Enhanced by Crises

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, May 21, 2017
Avoid #reputational #risk: manage stakeholder expectations, execute to expectations, and pre-position goodwill through 3rd-party validation of governance, risk and compliance excellence.

The half-life of corporate crises has undeniably shortened, helped by social media. Just ask Oscar Munoz, United Continental’s chief executive, how much time he had to react to an online video of a passenger being dragged off one of his airline’s flights in April. At the same time, crisis management specialists have an interest in fostering a nervous sense of constant uncertainty.

Such uncertainty cross-pollinates with the contagious concept of “never-ending disruption” and the alluring idea that all challenges are opportunities. Soon, managers assume they must foment a sense of crisis to get anything done. They are almost always wrong.


Read more from the Financial Times:

Activist Investors Have a New Bloodlust: CEOs

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Emotionally charged disappointed activist investors existential threat to CEOs as #reputation #risk roars through the boardroom and into the corner office. Culpability insurance is in limited supply and demand is growing.

Activist investors, a perennial nuisance for chief executives, are becoming an existential threat. Since January, they have helped push out the leaders of three high-profile S&P 500 companies: insurance giant American International Group Inc., railroad CSX Corp. and aerospace-parts maker Arconic Inc. They are gunning for the CEOs at other companies including Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. and Avon Products Inc.


Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

For Personal Protection, CEOs Need Reputation Assurance

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Why the expressive power of #Reputation Assurance is imperative: When activists attack, “you don’t ever hear the management or board side because they’re the defence, and the defence doesn’t talk.”

Jeff Ubben, chief executive of ValueAct, an activist fund that keeps its pressure behind the scenes, said the recent ouster of Mr Kleinfeld was an example of companies being “bullied” by Elliott. Mr Kleinfeld was forced out not because of Elliott’s criticisms of his record at Arconic but because of what his board called “poor judgment” in sending a letter to an official at Elliott that the hedge fund said “read as a threat to intimidate or extort”.

“It’s prosecutorial in nature,” said Mr Ubben, speaking on a panel at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles earlier this month. “You hear the Elliott side, but you don’t ever hear the management or board side because they’re the defence, and the defence doesn’t talk . . . And then when you do strike back, you’re fired.”


Read more in the Financial Times.

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