Dieselgate: The Benchmark in Corporate Cheating Scandals
The Volkswagen diesel emissions test cheating scandal and its various offshoots have had a far-reaching impact on a wide range of parties.
This impact has been financial, environmental, political, and regulatory. The parties affected include car owners, Volkswagen’s leadership team and employees, shareholders, car dealers, government officials, regulatory agencies, the media, the automotive industry, and even the Made-in-Germany brand.
To date, Volkswagen has been assessed or agreed to over $24B in fines, penalties, and compensatory payments to car owners. One Volkswagen employee is serving an 18-month jail term in South Korea. Another is awaiting sentencing in the U.S. after a plea bargain arrangement. A third sits in a U.S. jail thousands of miles away from his home in Germany pending his own trial or plea bargain agreement. Five of their colleagues in Germany have been indicted on felony charges by a U.S. grand jury and have been warned not to leave the country.
The Volkswagen Saga is a story of deliberate corporate malfeasance that has impacted the automaker’s car brands, leadership structure, governance, corporate reputation, current and future financial results, and its corporate culture.
It is a fascinating story full of leadership lessons on corporate governance, ethics, branding, crisis communications, corporate responsibility, leadership accountability, and individual accountability relevant to leaders of any size organization.
Leadership Lessons from the Volkswagen Saga nails the teachings and learnings stemming from what is now the benchmark for corporate cheating and corporate ethics scandals.