What do ethics, audit committee, legal system and activism have in common? In short, they are closely connected to the history of whistleblowers and their impact on corporate governance.
We had the privilege to learn more about the ins and outs of corporate denunciation during a breakfast conference at Club Saint-James with Anthony Menendez on the issue:
Our speaker is well placed to formulate the answer, as Anthony Menendez is a former employee and whistleblower of one of the largest companies in the world, the multinational Halliburton, against which he led a courageous nine-year fight.
It cannot be denied that whistleblowers are a necessary evil in corporate governance and that they have influenced its evolution. In this regard, one can note that there are whistleblowers in many areas, but that the accounting profession is particularly affected by this phenomenon. As our speaker pointed out, it is important to take whistleblowers seriously, but it must also be recognized that they deserve enhanced legal protection. Besides, Anthony Menendez drew our attention to the involvement of schools in the process of raising students’ awareness of the role they will have in their future profession and its importance. Because professional ethics is also a matter of education.
The event, co-hosted by the CPA International Research Chair in Management Control, was moderated by Matthew Fireman, President of the Graduate Students Association of HEC Montréal. It was preceded by words of welcome from Louise Leroux, President of the HEC Montréal Breakfasts Events Committee and an introduction by Claude Francoeur, Chairholder of the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Governance.
Thanks to all participants!
By Stéphanie Rioux-Wunder