John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of the Wells Fargo & Company, testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee September 20, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Volkswagen acted in much the same manner during their emission scandal, says Green. The company was caught cheating on American air pollution tests between 2008 and 2015. Once this became public knowledge, says Green, senior executives “threw their engineers under the bus,” rather than take ownership of the issue.
“The number one thing [these executives and CEOs] did wrong was to not take the blame,” says Green. “Support your employees. How you stand behind your employees is very important.”
Google for example, stood behind the many employees within the company that felt targeted by the memo. In a company blog post, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that the writer was fired for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” in the memo and that employees “shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states.”
Google also took it’s employees feelings into consideration when the internet giant canceled a highly anticipated meeting discussing gender issues, after some workers expressed concern over online harassment they were receiving.