Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, RadioShack is known for its expertise in electronics, but after a scandal in 2006 involving its CEO, it’s not known so well for its ability to hire competent people based on valid resumes. In February of 2006, David Edmondson resigned as CEO of RadioShack amid allegations that he had falsified information on his resume, an error that would have been picked up had the company performed a routine background check.
Edmondson’s career at RadioShack
Edmondson accepted the position of CEO in 2005 after having worked with the company in a variety of positions for 11 years. He was known for his ability to develop successful marketing strategies and was instrumental in the technological alliances made between RadioShack and IBM, HP, Verizon Wireless, Microsoft, Dish Network, Sirius Satellite Radio, and Apple. In fact, he came up with the tagline, “You’ve got questions . . . We’ve got answers” and was recognized in 1996 as being in the top 100 of marketers in America.
All this didn’t matter, however, when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram took a look into his past and discovered discrepancies in his resume. He claimed to have received two college degrees, one in theology and one in psychology, but the college he cited was an unaccredited institution and further investigation revealed that he had received no degrees at all.
Former CEO admitted fault
Edmondson eventually admitted, “I clearly misstated my academic record and the responsibility for these misstatements is mine alone.” He said the decision to resign was agreed on mutually between him and the board of directors.
Leonoard Roberts who serves as executive chairman of the company, was also the man who had chosen Edmondson for the job. In an interview, he told reporters, “When our company’s credibility becomes based on a single individual, it is time for a change. One of the most important things we have as a corporation is integrity and trust. We have to restore that back to the company.”
Officers’ biographies removed and updated
Following this scandal, The New York Times reported that the officers of RadioShack had their biographies on the website removed for a time. In their place was a note stating, “We are currently updating and validating all of the biographical information for each of our senior executives. Please check back soon to receive this information.”
These embarrassments and resulting fallout to RadioShack–its stock dipped to a three year low with investors’ trust severely shaken–could have been prevented if the Texas company had performed its homework a little more carefully. All it would have taken was a background check with employment verification to be sure Edmondson had the credentials he claimed. It would behoove all companies to take this learning experience and apply it to their hiring practices.