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Mark Everson, we hardly knew you

Mark Everson -- a name we all remember. Everson had served as the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget before he left to head up the IRS (to be replaced by current DDM Clay Johnson)... Everson eventually ended up at the Red Cross -- until yesterday.

In case you missed it... and it was hard to miss it... Everson resigned from the Red Cross post yesterday amid allegations of a relationship with an employee.

The WP story says:

The American Red Cross forced its president and chief executive, Mark W. Everson, to resign yesterday because he had an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate, a spokeswoman for the disaster relief agency said.

Everson's ouster was a blow to the Red Cross, which has faced a rapid turnover in leadership and has struggled to restore a reputation damaged by its response to Hurricane Katrina. The agency's fifth chief in six years, Everson was at the helm of the federally chartered organization for six months.

Fifth chief executive in six years? Can that really be possible?

These stories are always difficult because people's lives are so complex, but... ugh!

Of course, my favorite headline comes from the NY Post: SAUCY RED CROSS BOSS TOSSED

Just about everybody has a take... including the Huffington Post did something on it...

On the one hand, we don't want corporations to be the morals police. Extramarital stuff happens. If every person committing adultery with someone they met on the job got fired, no doubt the nation's unemployment rate would jump a few percentage points. After all, the Vault's 2007 survey on workplace romance found that one third of respondents knew of a married co-worker who had had extracurricular relations with a fellow employee.

On the other hand, what was Everson thinking?

When we researched our new book Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding - and Managing - Romance on the Job, we found that the vast majority of companies have no rules about dating in the workplace. Of the roughly one-quarter that do offer guidelines on office couplings, most of the verbiage is devoted to regulating boss/subordinate relationships. The phrase "conflict of interest" applies.

Interestingly, Everson's Wikipedia item had not been updated even as of 7:30p Wednesday night.

And a total aside... as I was checking out Clay Johnson's Wikipedia entry, it says:

Clay is married to Anne Johnson and has two twin sons, Robert and Weldon, co-founders of the running website Letsrun.com

If true (it is Wikipedia, after all) then, well, who knew.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Nov 28, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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