CORPORATE ETHICS: AN OXYMORON? Oracle's crooked partnerships

In May 2012, Business Week published an article "Can Corporate America Ever Be Cured?"  with many examples of corporate crime.  3 days later another article, "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."

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 was one Oracle partner, whose questionable tactics were reported to SEC, FINRA and FBI.  It had Forfeited status in California for non-payment of fees and/or taxes.  Yet its management was coming 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 as well as the state? 

The company in question maxed out its credit, had losses in every statement and no cash.  Yet, it spent $$$ on fake PR reports, flashy accoutrements 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. 

UPDATE: the crooked CEO/owner managed to sell the company, but paid pennies on the dollar to its defrauded investors.


Amela Jones said...

When will you be doing another article on this subject?

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