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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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March 09, 2005

It's About Management

That's it. My esteemed colleague, Bruce Ramsey, and I have been having hallway skirmishes over the wisdom of Boeing's ouster of Harry Stonecipher because of an affair for two days. Instead of taking it outside, I'll take it to the blog.

In his entry below, Ramsey would have fired neither. But he says, if he had to go, so should she.

This isn't about treating two colleagues fairly. It's about shrewd management and judgment.

Put me in the camp that believes Boeing's investigation into l'affaire de coeur uncovered more than just evidence of an affair. There are reports of Stonecipher's lurid email to the woman. Duh!! Does anyone in this day and age believe your company email is private? Or your phone calls.

Also, that Stonecipher was well above her in the corporate food-chain (although she was not a direct report) puts more culpability on him.

But, I digress. I really don't think this was about morality (adultery) or about sex in the workplace. It was about judgment.

I also don't think this will be too costly for the company. Stonecipher, at 68, wasn't expected to stay past summer 2006, and a low-grade CEO search was ongoing. And, judging from speculation about possible successors, the bench is pretty deep.

With Stonecipher's requested resignation, Boeing can make a splashy statement about its commitment to ethical leadership and not miss too many beats.

Respond to Kate.

 
Posted by Kate Riley at March 9, 2005 04:50 PM



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