Compliance professionals should exult as a major global concern, Siemens, has named a CCO to its Board of Directors.
Railway Gazette reported that “Sylvie Kandé de Beaupuy, Group Ethics & Compliance Officer of Airbus Group” has been nominated to the combined Board of Directors created from the Siemens Mobility-Alstom merger.
She was one of a slate of five from Alstom.
According to an Alstom release, her nomination “is subject to the approval of Alstom’s shareholders and will be effective upon completion of the deal itself to occur after approval by various authorities.”
Ms. Kandé de Beaupuy began her career as a French law avocat at Clifford Chance Paris, from 1983-2003.
From Clifford Chance, she moved in-house as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer at EADS ATR, where she was a member of the Executive Committee and the Transactions Approval Committee.
From 2009 to 2015, she was the Group Chief Compliance Officer and subsequently Executive Vice President – Group Corporate Counsel at Technip SA.
From October 2015 to the end of 2016, Ms. Kandé de Beaupuy has been the Group Ethics & Compliance Officer at Airbus Group where she was also member of its Diversity Committee.
In January 2017, she became an Independent Director of Alstom Transport Deutschland GmbH, where she is a member of the Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability Committee.
Compliance expertise on the Board of Directors is a key step for any compliance program. Indeed, it was clear from last year’s release of the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (pdf) that the Justice Department now expects to see compliance expertise at the Board level.
The significance for the compliance profession is the greater recognition of the corporate compliance function, separate and apart from legal and audit, with a role to play at the very top level of an organization. Such a move also demonstrates the company’s commitment to compliance going forward.
Finally, the move by a major European company, rather than a U.S. company, demonstrates that it was not made in response to the most recent Justice Department pronouncement. Rather it is the recognition that compliance has become intertwined with business and profits, and should be overseen at the Board level by a compliance subject matter expert.
This business reason, as opposed to a response to a legal requirement, will help drive compliance going forward.
Tom Fox is the Compliance Evangelist™. He leads the social media discussion on compliance with his award-winning blog, The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog and eight podcasts; The FCPA Compliance Report, Compliance into the Weeds, Everything Compliance, This Week in FCPA, 12 O’clock High-a Podcast on Business Leadership, Compliance Report-International Edition, Countdown to GDPR and Across the Board.
He’s the author of 12 books on compliance, ethics and leadership. His latest Amazon bestseller, “The Complete Compliance Handbook” is available here.