Oxley of the SOX Act to chair business ethics group

Oxley, of the Sarbannes Oxley Act, to chair business ethics group

When, following the Enron debacle, Senator Sarbannes and Congressman Oxley co-sponsored the United States Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002 their names, previously unknown outside America, became enshrined forever in the archives of international corporate governance.  The landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act may have restored Americans’ confidence in the capital markets and in the process created a new accounting oversight board for publicly traded companies.

But what we had comfortably been calling the Anglo-American approach to corporate governance was shattered.  America now required corporate governance by the rule of law (obey the law or risk the consequences), whilst the UK and the Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, South Africa and many other jurisdictions still relied on self-governance (follow the corporate governance code or explain why you have not).

After a 25-year Congressional career, Michael G. Oxley has now retired from Congress, but maintains his interest in corporate governance.  Currently counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Baker Hostetler and senior advisor to the board of NASDAQ, he has just been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) – see http://www.ethics.org.  ERC is America’s oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization devoted to business ethics and ethics in the workplace.

“I am proud to have been selected as the chairman of the board of the Ethics Resource Center, and I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to its mission,” Oxley said. “ERC is devoted to the study and practice of organizational ethics, a topic that has been at the forefront of my work for nearly a decade.”

Maybe business ethics is the new frontier of corporate governance.

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