Michael Winston: How a Whistle-Blower Conquered Countrywide
Named one of the top business "thought-leaders" year after year, Michael Winston is a BigSpeak business and leadership speaker who has held top management positions at Merrill Lynch, Motorola, Bank of America, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Corporations during seismic changes in their industries.
As a former executive at the Countrywide Financial Corporation, Mr. Winston spent three years locked in a protracted legal battle against both the mortgage giant and its current owner, Bank of America, contending that he was punished and pushed out for not toeing the company line.
According to the New York Times
, Winston's story provides a glimpse into how business was done at Countrywide
at the height of the subprime frenzy - and how tenaciously the company's leader worked to quash dissent in the ranks.
had the audacity to question the company's practices and he
refused to misrepresent Countrywide's corporate governance practices in a report to analysts at the ratings agency Moody's Investor Services
Before long, he
was marginalized, uninvited to meetings, forced to relocate his
office four times in seven months and ultimately dismissed.
The Times also noted that, "Mr.
Winston, a prominent executive in the field of organization management, is a rarity among corporate whistle-blowers.
Most of them get run over by their former companies."
Another rarity - he
won: Earlier this year, a California jury awarded him over $3 million in damages.
Now as a sought-after speaker, Michael Winston
says, "I want to do my part to promote vision-driven, values-based leadership that is a force for good," adding, "This is the story of somebody who tried to set a company right.
But it was frightening to them for me to shine the light from the inside out."
To read the full account of Michael Winston's
ordeal go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/business/20gret.html?_r=1
For more information on Lynn Brewer or Michael Winston's
extraordinary presentations on Leadership, Integrity, Accountability, Organizational Development, Ethics, or the upcoming Integrity Index, please contact a BigSpeak agent.