Ethics Expert to Corporate Crooks: Shattered Lives are No Proud Legacy

Build a business the right way, create a legacy for generations to come, and avoid the scandal, disgrace, bankruptcy and jail time the crooked CEOs are dealing with, says ethics expert Shel Horowitz, author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First

HADLEY, MA (PRWEB) July 18, 2005 -- Former WorldCom and Adelphia CEOs Bernie Ebbers and John Rigas have forfeited almost all of their own and their families' assets, and are likely to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Meanwhile Enron has agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the states it fleeced; its top brass still await trial.

And business ethics expert Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, has some advice for future business leaders: don't look at these criminals as role models.

"They had a few high-living years, sure," says the 48-year-old Hadley, Massachusetts author. "But look at their real legacy: shattered lives. They and their families have lost everything they stole, and they've lost their freedom for the rest of their lives. And these were not victimless crimes: they left behind a trail of financial destruction that hurt a lot of innocent investors, employees, suppliers, and others. Was all that grief and sorrow worth driving fancy cars and living in a mansion? I wouldn't want a legacy like that!"

The really sad thing, says Horowitz, is that honest, ethical businesses are actually more viable in the long run. "Businesses that create real value for their stakeholders are businesses that last. It's not about how much you can siphon off into your own pocket, but about what kind of world you want to build for future generations, and how you can use business as a platform to accomplish those goals."

To that end, Horowitz has launched a ten-year campaign to find 25,000 business leaders who'll sign an Ethics Pledge; he's hoping to create a "tipping point" that will make the behavior of Ebbers, Rigas, and others completely unacceptable. The campaign, which had signers from six of the world's seven regions within its first six months, is located at

About Shel Horowitz:
- Award-winning author of six books—his most recent is Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First (Apex Award winner, foreign rights sold in India and Mexico, 55 endorsements including Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup fame)
- World-renowned copywriter and marketing /publishing consultant with clients on three continents
- Columnist for Business Ethics magazine
- Author of The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook, an e-book on how to live well on a low budget, without theft or fraud

Horowitz is available for interviews through July 24, 2005, or after August 8, 2005

Shel Horowitz