A Tweet Too Far – CFO Loses Job
Francesca’s Holdings, which operates over 280 women’s wear and accessories boutiques in 41 states, announced that it had terminated the employment of the company’s chief financial officer Gene Morphis after becoming aware he had "improperly communicated company information through social media" sites.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Morphis authored a blog called "Morph’s View" and had both Facebook and Twitter accounts that he used to offer information of a personal as well as professional nature.
The Journal pointed to several tweets that landed Mr. Morphis in trouble including one from March 6: "Dinner w/Board tonite. Used to be fun. Now one must be on guard every second."
"We are disappointed by this situation but we expect our executives to comply with all company policies," said Greg Brenneman, chairman of Francesca’s board, in a statement. "We acted immediately on Friday afternoon when we first became aware of the matter and have moved swiftly to replace Mr. Morphis based on the findings of the investigation."
Francesca’s, which went public last July, has named Cynthia Thomassee, the company’s vice president of accounting, to serve as interim CFO until it can find a permanent replacement for Mr. Morphis.
The Journal, citing the Society for Human Resource Management as its sources, reported that only 40 percent of companies currently have formal social media policies in place. Of those, roughly a third have taken action against an employee during the past year.
- Francesca’s Holdings Terminates Employment of CFO Gene Morphis Following Board Investigation of His Use of Social Media – Francesca’s Holdings Corporation/Globe Newswire
- Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job – The Wall Street Journal
- Francesca’s CFO fired over use of social media – Houston Chronicle
Discussion Questions: Should all companies have a formal social media policy in place for employees? Should different rules apply based on how high an individual is on the corporate ladder? Where do you draw the line between the need for confidentiality and free speech?