Earlier this week Bob Moffat (formerly of IBM) was sentenced to six months in jail and a $50,000 fine for his role in the Galleon Insider Trading Scandal, to which he pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Have I written enough about this topic yet? I don’t think so.
Based on news reports, Moffat did indeed appear to be contrite as he wept in court, taking responsibility for his actions and noting that he made terrible mistakes in judgment.
Moffat was respected within IBM because his position commanded it. In some circles he was revered for restoring flailing business units to profit, and in others he was feared. He had a reputation for cutting budgets and expense – including headcount – to the bone. Thousands of employees received those pink slips in the form of a 30-plus-page package with a cover letter signed by Moffat himself that begins, "As your business leader, I make decisions every day with the objective that IBM remains at the forefront of its competitors.” (Hmmm... not every day.)
Is Moffat’s true crime that he had a personal relationship with Danielle Chiesi? He has a convenient explanation for this, saying it wasn’t about sex but about, “Clarity in the business environment”. So maybe Moffat’s true crime is that he passed along inside information to Chiesi? That is indeed what he will serve six months in jail for.
No, in my opinion Moffat’s true crime was betrayal – betrayal of the tens of thousands of employees and ex-employees of IBM who worked for him, trusted him, and some who would even lay down on the railroad tracks for him – even when their jobs were being cut.
Yes, I suppose Moffat now knows what it feels like to lose his job after thirty years of loyalty and hard work for the same company. The difference between his job loss and the losses thousands of others suffered is that Moffat created his own demise, while the employees that worked for him lost their jobs due to no fault of their own.
Is six months in jail and $50,000 dollars punishment enough?