Originally published at: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2022/12/22/a-message-from-our-ceo-2/
I’m reaching out to share some tough news with you. It’s something that’s been weighing on my mind, and – led by one of our core values – it’s important to be transparent about it. We recently discovered that two employees privately received commission payments from a third-party supplier and, with that have disadvantaged Fairphone. An external whistleblower tipped us off, and our thorough investigation confirmed the allegations.
Needless to say, we have a clear zero-tolerance policy against any form of misconduct, deceit, or dishonesty. This guides our team and procurement policies; it’s implemented in contracts and guidelines, and it is deeply embedded in the culture of Fairphone’s day-to-day interactions. As you can imagine, this came as an incredible shock to all of us at Fairphone. Since day one, we’ve been all about creating a value chain based on care, fairness, trust, and transparency, so we’re definitely feeling let down right now.
There was no impact on our business or any significant financial consequences. Instead, we are dealing with a cultural impact. It has opened our eyes to vulnerabilities in our internal organization, which we’re improving and stepping up on. Also, we’ve stopped working with the supplier in question and the two employees are no longer with the company.
Despite everything, I don’t believe their mistakes define who they are as people, but they did make several wrong decisions that they – although in hindsight – also regret taking.
This incident has tested our faith, yet we will not let it limit our beliefs in the importance of trust. Trust in what unites us, our mission, and our core beliefs. While this situation has been disheartening, it will not change Fairphone’s guiding values – and it will not change our deep-rooted trust in people. We’re committed to learning from this and staying true to our focus on humanity in business.
I appreciate your understanding and want to give a special shoutout to all the other Fairphone employees who collectively took a stand and have been incredibly supportive through it all.