Ahold Ethical Misconduct

Topics: Board of directors, Corporate governance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Pages: 1 (416 words) Published: October 27, 2014

 (1) The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges alleging fraud and other violations against Royal Ahold (Koninklijke Ahold N.V.) (Ahold) and three former top executives: Cees van der Hoeven, former CEO and chairman of executive board; A. Michiel Meurs, former CFO and executive board member; and Jan Andreae, former executive vice president and executive board member.  The SEC also charged Roland Fahlin, former member of Ahold's supervisory board and audit committee, with causing violations of the reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the securities laws. [1] Mark Kaiser, former marketing director for Ahold's former U.S. Foodservice Inc. unit, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy and was sentenced three years and 10 months in prison. [3] Cees van der Hoeven and A. Michiel Meurs were fined 225,000 euros ($288,000) each and they were given nine-month suspended sentences. Jan Andreae was fined 120,000 euros ($153,000) and given a four-month suspended sentence while Roland Fahlin was acquitted. [2] (2) Ahold cooperated with the SEC and wasn't fined. In 2005, Ahold agreed to pay $1.1 billion to shareholders to settle a separate civil lawsuit in the U.S. over its accounting [3]. Van der Hoeven and Michiel Meurs agreed to settle the Commission's action by agreeing to permanent injunctions and officer and director bars. Roland Fahlin consented to the entry of a cease-and-desist order finding that he was a cause of Ahold's violations of certain provisions of the securities laws [1]. (3) The revenue based bonus policy inherently instills in the executives a drive to meet the financial goals. But this can also lead to unethical conduct when the business is slow or when the numbers are not achieved. In this case, Ahold executives indulged in fraudulent inflation and improper portrayal of companies assets in Brazil to portray and healthier than actual state of the company. These activities can be largely attributed to the fact...

References: [1]: SEC Charges Royal Ahold and Three Former Top Executives with Fraud; Former Audit Committee Member Charged with Causing Violations of the Securities Laws - http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2004-144.htm[2] : Ex-Ahold Executives Held Guilty - By Dina ElBoghdady, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, May 23, 2006 –
HYPERLINK "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/22/AR2006052201589.html" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/22/AR2006052201589.html
[3] : Former Ahold Unit Executive Sentenced – The Wall Street Journal -  http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203501304577085042855715610
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