It’s great fun to follow the great and the good on twitter. By and large they make their own mistakes – (and fun it is to watch KP especially!).
The management of the “authentic voice” of the company CEO has become a specialist function of PR agencies.
Reading yesterday’s FT (I am on holiday so am reading this as light relief from the Thomas Cook “Shop” magazine), it appears that a CEO needs to apply “skill” to his “authentic voice and display chameleon qualities in projecting himself to his different audiences (the masculine adjective sadly still applies).
I’m wondering how Barclay’s bigwigs are shaping up to being busted for their £500m tax abuse scam.
Authentic voice – with skill
“we are working closely with HMRC to ensure that all stakeholders are treated fairly, Barclays hold and will continue to hold , total respect for the British tax system etc”.
And so say the pyramid below, the tax and legal directors, the tax and legal advisers (including counsel), the PR agents of the above and the panoply of corporate risk assessment officers busy , as you read, preparing statements from Canary Wharf to mitigate the tax bill and maximise the various PI claims.
For HMRC to come out shooting with guns blazing ahead and retrospectively suggests they feel that the authentic voice of the CEO is going to sound pretty faint in protest. Of course they did not name and shame Barclays, (they sub-contracted that function to the FT).
What can Barclays do? Call HMRC’s bluff and emigrate to a kindlier tax domain? Challenge through the courts? Most likely, lie down and take a £500m hit to their balance sheet and sack the current bunch of advisers who got it so wrong.
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