Some months ago, I ordered a copy of “Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management,” a free book by William Swanson, the CEO of US military contractor Raytheon Company, from the company’s website.
It hasn’t arrived yet and it now looks as though I won’t ever be getting a copy.
News today via the New York Times that Mr Swanson plagiarised much of the content of his book from another author’s work published in the 1940s.
The NYT says his action has cost him dearly:
Raytheon directors punished the chief executive, William H. Swanson, by taking away almost $1 million from his 2006 compensation yesterday because he failed to give credit for material that was in a management book he wrote. Mr. Swanson’s pay cut will come in two ways. His 2006 salary will be frozen at its 2005 level and his 2006 restricted stock award will be reduced 20 percent, Raytheon said. The cuts would come to nearly $1 million according to a person close to the board, who was granted anonymity because he was disclosing proprietary information.
In 2005, Mr. Swanson received a salary of $1.12 million and restricted stock valued at $2.96 million. The board acted before the annual shareholders meeting yesterday afternoon in Arlington, Va.
The punishment also comes as Raytheon has stopped circulating the book, “Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management,” a folksy book that turned Mr. Swanson into a management sage and earned him praise from business leaders like Jack Welch and Warren E. Buffett. Raytheon, a leading military contractor, had given away more than 300,000 copies of the book and had promoted it on its Web site.
But what price reputation? The Raytheon board say they have full confidence in Mr Swanson as CEO. I wouldn’t bet on his longevity in that job now.