GE's Former Lawyer Recalls his Worst Day

Ben Heineman’s book, High Performance with High Integrity, is a sort of memo to CEOs on how to run a major company. He would know; Heineman was GE’s general counsel for years. A few weeks ago, he sat down with Big Think to talk about what it was like advising the CEOs of America’s largest company.


He walks us through his worst day on the job—when the Israeli press leaked an internal scandal—and how he handled getting the message out to the employees and the public. When you’re working for any major company, it isn’t just about making sure that your business practices are legal. What about ethical? Heineman describes an ethical battle that GE faced, and how he helped them handle it. A senior fellow at Harvard Law School, he also weighs in on what he foresees the future of the legal profession being. Will we see a disappearance of the billable hour?

Technology & Innovation
  • About 3.1 million individuals could lose their job to self-driving cars.
  • A.I. is not a monolith. It makes a lot of mistakes.
  • To better understand how to navigate our economic future, we should pay attention to these mistakes.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less