As I reported yesterday, Apple global supply manager, Paul Shin Devine, appeared in court yesterday after being “accused of accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from half a dozen Asian suppliers of iPhone and iPod accessories.” According to an article in today’s Financial Times, Devine pleaded not guilty to the charges, but was returned to jail due to being considered a flight risk.
While the Financial Times article did not have any quotes from Devine, it did contain a quote from one of the suppliers accused of providing the alleged kickbacks. This quote disturbed me more than a little.
The article cites a statement from the supplier, Cresyn: “An Apple manager offered to provide us with business consulting to help us advance into the US market. So we signed a normal consulting contract, which was not illegal. We received general information about the US market but did not receive any technology-related information.”
A supplier hiring its customer’s procurement employee for consulting? Nothing seems wrong with that?
Procurement people: If you want to get a consulting contract, be a consultant! Quit your job and be a darn consultant!
You can fight all you want and say that there was nothing improper about a consulting relationship you have with a supplier to your company. But is it worth the consequences – not just losing your job, but ending up in jail – to make some extra money on the side? Or, if you make multiple times your salary doing “consulting” like Devine did, is it worth keeping the “day job” and possibly ending up behind bars?
Want to be a consultant? Leave your procurement post and hang out your consulting shingle.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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