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-August 2, 2007

 
 

Procurement News: Kickback Scheme Lands Home Depot Buyers in the Unemployment Line; Possibly Doing Time

 
 

Ethics Violations Lead to New Zero-Tolerance Policy

 
 

By SCDigest Editorial Staff

 
 

Home Depot announced this week that four Georgia-based purchasing managers were fired for allegedly accepting large sums of cash from foreign flooring vendors in exchange for shelf space.

Officially, Home Depot spokesman Jerry Shields claimed the firings were for “not following company ethics and business conduct.” At this time, Home Depot is refusing further comment on the firings as they are cooperating with law enforcement authorities as to wire or mail fraud violations and the matter is still under investigation.

Considering the intense battling over shelf space at large retail stores, it’s not surprising that these types of ethical violations occur as product vendors search for ways to entice retailers to give their products display space. 

Despite the fact that it appears that this case is limited to a few rogue, lower-level managers, Home Depot has responded with an announced tightening of its ethics code. In an effort to be clear about what constitutes an ethics violation, the company has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in which merchandising employees can’t accept gifts of any kind. 

 
     
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