A Lapse Of Judgement

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A lapse of judgement

A sudden departure today for Gijsbert de Zoetten, the CFO of Inchcape.

He has “voluntarily tendered his resignation”, following “an incident at a recent event where, through a lapse in judgement, he displayed personal behaviour falling short of the high standards expected of the leadership of the Group”.

You don’t need to be a genius at reading between the lines to guess what happened.

Let’s suggest, without much fear of contradiction, that he got drunk at an office party and behaved badly towards underlings.

He is not the first and is unlikely to be the last. A few things of interest here from a PR point of view.

Until relatively recently this sort of stuff, especially at City investment banks, was so commonplace as to go unremarked.

Second, in the past if the incident were bad enough to require a resignation, it might be explained away as simply a personal matter. We wouldn’t be told of the failing “personal behaviour”.

Which would at least give the person concerned a chance to explain himself at the future job interviews Mr de Zoeten is unlikely to get.

It is good that things have changed, that these matters are no longer hushed up.

Should they be disclosed in statements to the stock market? I guess so.

On the other hand, without knowing what happened, is it possible to feel a bit sorry for de Zoeten?

The words “lapse of judgement” suggest this was a one-off, not a pattern of behaviour.

Maybe he’s an idiot rather than a perpetual office pest. Nevertheless, for the avoidance of doubt, the statement tells us: “He will not receive any payment for loss of office.”

Press release of the day

Wednesday is National Computer Security Day, and 37% of firms are at risk of huge data breach fines, says this from Hayes Connor.

GDPR regulations are biting and failing to report a data breach within 72 hours can lead to a fine of 2% of turnover.

The release makes four mentions of the ICO, without saying what that is.

(Information Commissioner’s Office, I guess.)

Stories that will keep rolling

1) What is easyJet doing about staff shortages? Is it still loss-making?

2) What is the most expensive pint at Marston’s pubs?

3) Is German inflation falling faster than ours?

4) If England beat Wales, what is the boost to the economy?


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