How a leaked memo made one CEO look pretty good

Several leaked memos from the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods reveal a leader devoted to open and honest employee communications.

Several leaked memos from the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods reveal a leader devoted to open and honest employee communications

Is this a worst-case scenario? Your organization weathers a PR storm, and months later internal memos from the darkest days of the crisis land in the media.

It shouldn’t be—just look at Maple Leaf Foods.

Someone leaked internal memos the company’s CEO Michael McCain wrote to employees during a deadly Listeria outbreak caused by contaminated Maple Leaf food products that killed 20 people.

The Toronto Star and Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) pored over the memos undoubtedly looking for inconsistencies and ways to thrust further blame onto the food company. The CBC Web headline about those memos said, “Maple Leaf CEO’s memos to workers give glimpse of struggles with listeria.”

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