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Microsoft accused of bribery in new whistleblower essay

One I didn’t want to let slip by: The Verge covering a story about accusations within Microsoft of ignoring bribery by employees, subcontractors, and government operators in foreign transactions.

In an essay on whistleblower platform Lioness, Yasser Elabd described his experiences. He estimated that more than $200 million each year is spent on bribes and kickbacks linked to the company, often in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He believes more than half of the salespeople and managers took part in the regions he worked in. 

“It’s going on at all levels,” he said in an interview with The Verge. “All the executives are aware of it, and they’re promoting the bad people. If you’re doing the right thing, they won’t promote you.”

In a statement to Insider, Microsoft said: “We believe we’ve previously investigated these allegations, which are many years old, and addressed them. We cooperated with government agencies to resolve any concerns.” 

Why do we care?

The lesson here is embedded in the Verge article.    Quote:

“But while a good process can excuse a few bad cases, evidence of a bad process can bring more severe punishment, a particularly serious threat given the Justice Department’s recent focus on repeat corporate offenders. “ 

Is this bad for Microsoft?  Oh sure.    What I’m more interested to learn, however, is if this is a process failure or not.      The investigation, if any, will be critical.      

Think about how your organization would respond.     Look the other way, have a way to address… or potentially worst of all, not know what to do?