May 24, 2006

Where was the board?

Boston Globe

By Steve Bailey, Globe Columnist | May 24, 2006

Does the board of directors of Keane Inc., the Charlestown technology-services company, hold its chief executive to a higher standard of personal conduct than does the board of Caritas Christi Health Care System, the Catholic Church's hospital chain?

The comparison is irresistible. Earlier this month the Keane board forced out its chief executive, Brian Keane, after he was accused of sexual harassment. Last week the Caritas board privately reprimanded its chief executive, Dr. Robert Haddad, after he was also accused of sexual harassment. Of course, the circumstances were different: Two women came forward to accuse Keane of inappropriate behavior; four women came forward initially to complain about Haddad's hugging and kissing. The number is now well into double digits.

Yesterday, Haddad was edging to the exit. But in this era of heightened director responsibility, the board's passive response to the serious charges against its chief executive is stunning. And all the more stunning -- even bizarre -- considering the church's immediate sorry history of dealing with victims of sexual abuse. Did the Caritas board learn nothing at all?

Posted by kshaw at May 24, 2006 07:23 AM