Lockheed Martin’s President – Christopher Kubasik – Resigns over Ethical Violation — Business Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments

What’s in the water?  Seems everywhere we turn these days we find someone resigning over an inappropriate relationship and a breach of ethics!  Every choice has a consequence and it is clear that no one is immune from the consequences of their misguided choices.

Lockheed Martin’s board of directors asked for and received the resignation of its president and future CEO, Christopher Kubasik over a relationship with a subordinate.

Scheduled to become the CEO in January, I suspect that Kubasik didn’t expect this to be the way his career with Lockheed Martin would end.

A USA Today article quotes the following:

Lockheed Martin says an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee. That violates the company’s code of ethics and business conduct.

“I regret that my conduct in this matter did not meet the standards to which I have always held myself,” Kubasik said in a statement.

What motivates a person to make such choices?  Some say for folks in elevated positions it is hubris.  Honestly I don’t know other than there was a perceived “Need” on Kubasik’s part or his unethical behavior would not have taken place.

“While I am deeply disappointed and saddened by Chris’ actions, which have been inconsistent with our values and standards, our swift response to his improper conduct demonstrates our unyielding commitment to holding every employee accountable for their actions,” Robert J. Stevens, chairman and CEO said in a statement.

Marillyn A. Hewson, 58, will be president, chief operating officer and a director. She takes over as CEO in January. Hewson joined the company in 1983.

WHAT NEXT?  It seems that company after company (including the government) is dealing with misguided and unethical choices.  The question is what do we do now and more importantly how can companies insulate themselves from the damage that an unethical choice can make?  Certainly no company wishes to find themselves in the headlines — not in this way!


  1. A comprehensive ethics training program is appropriate and (with all due respect) not just something provided by HR and Compliance – but rather something that opens the door to the “Human Side of Ethics”
  2. A consistent message communicated through various means – as a business ethics speaker, author and trainer, I do this typically through quarterly webinar.
  3. A review of the policies and procedures that are in place that are designed to keep employees honest and ethical in their dealings.
  4. Finally, a willingness to look at all levels of human interaction and take the steps necessary to promote an ethical environment.

It would appear that Lockheed-Martin has taken the bold move necessary to protect it’s reputation and provide a foundation for it’s ethical position.


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