In the post-HP pretexting era, companies need to move promptly when advised of potential wrongdoing. Wal-Mart today can be categorized as Exhibit A.
The New York Times reports (and the company has announced) that Wal-Mart uncovered that a company technician had intercepted messages and recorded phone conversations with company personnel and a reporter for the New York Times.
In this case, the board was promptly notified after an employee’s complaint in January, and the US Attorney was informed the next day.
The employment of the technician was terminated today. Other company managers have been disciplined. The company further stated that the US Attorney will conducts its own investigation. It will be interesting to see to what extent the feds take Wal-Mart’s voluntary disclosure into account in exercising prosecutorial discretion.
We are entering an era of compliance and regulatory disclosure that can be summarized in five words:
When in doubt, do it.