Scandal-ridden Tyco Gets Serious About Ethics

Tyco International Ltd., dogged by a series of scandals and eager to polish its image, is putting its entire work force through a training program on legal and ethical issues.

The conglomerate has signed on for a five-year training program led by Los Angeles-based LRN, or The Legal Knowledge Co. Tyco will require its roughly 260,000 workers around the world, from top to bottom, to understand legal and ethical issues.

The announcement of the company’s first comprehensive training program comes as former chief executive Dennis Kozlowski stands trial on allegations of stealing more than $600 million from Tyco. Ex-financial chief Mark Swartz is also on trial. Both have pleaded innocent.

Tyco made big changes after the Kozlowski scandal broke. The company hired a new CEO, replaced top executives, overhauled its board, and created a senior vice-presidency for corporate governance, hiring Eric Pillmore for the job.

The LRN training "is part of an over-all strategy, obviously, to get to the point where we are one of the best companies from a compliance and ethics standpoint," Pillmore said. Acting ethically should be integral to "the fabric of the company," he said.

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