The Importance of Ethics in Global Business
For the sixth time in as many years, the Ethisphere Institute honored Cisco by naming us to its list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and we continue to be proud of our long-standing commitment to ethics and integrity. At Cisco, we hold ourselves to a very high standard of business and professional conduct. Our company was founded on a platform of open communication, empowerment, integrity and respect. These values remain at the forefront of the way we do business each day. As a result, our customers, partners, and stakeholders around the world continue to trust our products and services.
At Cisco, our approach to business ethics begins with the belief that compliance is everyone’s job and does not reside in any one department or with any one person. We invest heavily in proactive communication, education and systems to help ensure that our 75,000+ employees and 40,000 business partners, operating across 150 countries, understand our ethical standards and their responsibility to live up to them, including proactive training of all employees on issues that can affect them.
This commitment also means that when questions about our operations are raised — as they are occasionally, given the global scope and nature of our business — we move quickly to thoroughly investigate the allegations, regardless of their source.
Recently, at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice, Cisco began an investigation into our business activities and discounting practices in Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States in response to a communication those agencies had received. We are cooperating with the agencies and will fully share the results of our investigation with them. Despite the extensive investigation that we have undertaken thus far, we have found no basis to believe that Cisco’s activities are in violation of any law, and indeed the information we were provided does not allege wrongdoing by any of Cisco’s executive management. While this investigation is ongoing, we do not expect the outcome to have any material adverse effect on our business or operations.
Our commitment to ethical business practices exceeds the requirements of the relevant corporate governance frameworks and best practices. Ethics and integrity are part of our DNA and ingrained in our culture and the way we conduct every aspect of our business. As part of our commitment to ethical business practices, every year, every Cisco employee is required to confirm his/her understanding and compliance with our Code of Business Conduct (COBC), which we make publicly available.
Our success in entirely dependent upon continued compliance with ethical business practices; a fact we believe defines and distinguishes us as a company.
Roxane Marenberg is VP, Compliance Systems and leads a team which, together with Cisco’s internal audit group, comprises more than 250 people dedicated to the compliance function.