CORPORATE ETHICS: AN OXYMORON? Oracle's crooked partnerships


In May 2012, Business Week published an article "Can Corporate America Ever Be Cured?"
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-15/can-corporate-america-ever-be-cured#r=related-rail-img  with many examples of corporate crime.  3 days later another article, "Why Corporate Ethics Statements Don't Work"  ( http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-18/why-corporate-ethics-statements-don-t-work ) seemed to answer that question.  The author, a former corporate HR executive, stated that "most of us in corporate America are so steeped in the “win at any cost” mindset.  We’ve grown up in the culture of competing to win, taking no prisoners, and making the bold move, no matter where it sits on the ethical borderline."  Just as she mentioned, "every company of any size introduced an Ethics Statement a decade or more ago.  In too many cases, they’re just words buried deep on the company website.”

Oracle Corporation is an exception: it has not only a page, but an entire website (hosted by EthicsPoint) titled Oracle Integrity Helpline.  As stated on its home page "EthicsPoint will route all questions and reports to Oracle's Global Compliance; Ethics organization, which will insure that your questions are answered, that all credible reports of suspected misconduct are investigated fairly, thoroughly and discreetly, and that appropriate corrective action is taken where warranted."  https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/31053/index.html
Great.

Does this apply to Oracle Partner Network, companies selling its software and paying for the privilege to be called an Oracle partner?  Oracle's legal eagles protected the company from possible misdeeds of its partners by inserting a disclaimer against such responsibility.  But...

Is Apple responsible for the mistreatment of workers at its Chinese plants?  Is IBM responsible for selling its equipment to  Nazis to facilitate prisoner record keeping?  What if your business partner is involved in illegal activities, would you dissolve that partnership?

Apparently not.  Participating in the Oracle World yearly conference there is one Oracle partner, Zanett Inc.., whose questionable tactics were reported to SEC, FINRA and FBI.  It has Forfeited status in California for non-payment of fees and/or taxes.  Yet, Zanett comes to San Francisco every year to exhibit at the conference and push its contracts. A report to Oracle was fruitless: why would it lose a paying Platinum partner selling its products even if that crooked dealer defrauds seniors of their life savings and defrauds CA residents? 

Zanett and its CEO Claudio Guazzoni were the subject of many negative reports even by financial analysts.  This title alone says a lot: Zanett Inc. (ZANE): Their Revenue/Press Release Games & Their CEO Who Likes To Party   Others are just as telling: STRANGE CASE OF ZANETT and CITY TAKES RISK  – a warning to the mayor of Indianapolis about to hire Zanett to overhaul its computer systems.  (That warning was ignored: governments can be just as unscrupulous).   
  
To raise cash, Zanett was selling Unsecured Subordinated Notes that offered very high interest rates for term deposits similar to CDs.   The CFO Dennis Harkins boasts that over the years Zanett sold notes to thousands of investors who were always getting paid.  But, for the last few years, Zanett  was not redeeming any notes and, if we believe his own statements, it owes over $3 million to "about 13" elderly investors.  Some lost their life savings.  Continuing promises to pay are never put in writing and never materialize.  A classic pyramid.

Zanett's historical share prices reflect yet another illegal scheme: pump-and-dump, whereas worthless stock is artificially inflated leaving stock traders with losses when it crashes. (Confirmed by former insiders and ZANE Message Board.)

Zanett maxed out its credit, has losses in every statement and no cash.  Yet, it spends $$$ on fake PR reports, flashy accouterments for Oracle World  conference where they sent 14 people last year to stay at glitzy hotels and found enough cash to pay hundreds of thousands in bonuses. 
 
So why would Oracle ask any questions if its crooked partner is still in business ready to sell Oracle products?





2 comments:

Amela Jones said...

When will you be doing another article on this subject?

Amela
Oracle partners in India

Anonymous said...

No follow-up articles about Oracle are planned at this time, but if you have a story, we'll be happy to review and possibly publish it, thank you