South-Western - Management  
WorldCom Official Tried to Quash Employee's Accounting Concerns
Topic Ethics and Social Responsibility
Key Words ethics, legal, email
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

Emails released by congressional investigators probing WorldCom show former controller David Myers ordering Steven Brabbs, an executive in the company's London Offices who was raising questions about the company's accounting methods, to have no further contact with Arthur Anderson LLP. When Mr. Brabbs later again approached Anderson about the issue, he was again berated by Mr. Myers by email.

These emails are considered to be an attempt to intimidate Mr. Brabbs into keeping quiet about problems at WorldCom. They raise questions about Mr. Myers role in the company's accounting irregularities that led to its bankruptcy, and will be used against him in his fight against charges of securities fraud, conspiracy, and other related charges.


IBM's guidelines for business conduct ask employees to determine whether under the "full glare of examination by associates, friends, and family, they would remain comfortable with their decisions." In one sentence, summarize your personal definition of ethical business behavior. From what you know from this article, does David Myers fit this definition? Explain.


From what you have learned from your textbook and lectures on ethics in business, how does one draw the line between what is "good" for the company and what is the right thing to do ethically?

Source Yochi J. Dreazen, "WorldCom Official Tried to Quash Employee's Accounting Concerns," Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2002, p. B6.
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