Corporate Governance: Who’s Getting It Right?


Sheila Keefe, CFE
Principal, BDR Advisors, LLC
Lake Geneva, WI

Best Buy a Leader in Corporate Responsibility

Additional public scrutiny and shareholder activism have made ‘corporate governance’ the new buzz words, as many companies resolve to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. Even so, many struggle on how to implement corporate governance reform in an effective and efficient manner.

One of the companies that is getting it right is Best Buy. Best Buy has received numerous awards and appeared on several “best of” lists, including Corporate Responsibility Officer’s (CRO) list of the Best Corporate Citizens and Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. 

Those kudos are well deserved. Best Buy has implemented many of the emerging best practices, which has allowed them to achieve an enviable “tone at the top,” necessary for true reform. Here are just a few of their achievements in corporate governance reform:

  • Best Buy has assigned a C-level executive, Kathleen Edmond, as Chief Ethics Officer. Edmond is an attorney/MBA dynamo who has interjected a strong dose of candor and transparency.
  • Best Buy uses an online chat room to air out ethical violations and pose interactive questions that fosters eager replies from team members, indicating a strong adoption of corporate ethics in workplace culture. Most recently, Edmond used her personal page to discuss the $40 million fraud perpetrated by a former Best Buy employee and a vendor, The Chip Factory. 
  • Best Buy has a 52-page Code of Business Ethics. The document is beautifully laid out and easy to read. It starts with a list of questions to help team members tackle situational ethics, addressing head-on one of most difficult challenges to implementing a code of ethics.
  • Best Buy takes its role as a corporate citizen seriously.  As evidenced by Best Buy’s Corporate Responsibility Report, it’s clear that Best Buy understands the importance of corporate consciousness as an essential business process. Specifically, Best Buy lays out corporate responsibility goals in their Corporate Responsibility Report.

Individually, any of these initiatives would be impressive and would signal to all of Best Buy’s trade partners that it takes corporate governance seriously. Taken together, they put Best Buy ahead of the pack.

You can find Sheila in Austin, Texas, this month teaching a new ACFE course entitled, "Fraud Risk Management." Read more.

Who have you seen getting corporate governance right? Leave us your comments below.