May 18, 2005
Closing Arguments in Scrushy Trial-Part I
Closing arguments have started in the Scrushy trial with the prosecution calling the accused the "the quintessential micromanager." (see AP in Birmingham News here) Clearly the government is trying to demonstrate that Scrushy had the knowledge and intent required for the crimes charged.
CEOs reading and listening to this are likely troubled by this description. On one hand the government is sending a message in some of the recent trials that you need to know what is going on in the company. But here, knowing too much and being involved in too much is being held to be a problem.
Obviously, some will argue that it all comes down to what is really happening in the company. That is, you need to know what is going on, but also need to correct improprieties that may be occurring, and most certainly you shouldn't be causing, participating in, or allowing illegalities to occur. It sounds simple, but for the CEO at the top, the job is becoming more difficult and the responsibilities greater.
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