Don Blakenship, the CEO of Massey Energy Company, a coal mining company, has been sentenced to a year in prison for his responsibility in a mine accident that killed 29 miners in 2010. The prosecution argued that his intense focus on profits led to an atmosphere that inspired his employees to find ways to flout mine safety regulations.
It’s very rare for corporate executives to be held personally responsible for the bad actions of their companies. But now that prosecutors know it’s possible, they might smell blood in the water. Be careful in your corner offices.