Radio Shack must be aggressive in rebounding from ouster of CEO

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fort Worth-based Radio Shack must be aggressive and proactive as it deals with the resignation of its chief executive officer following allegations of résumé falsification, according to a journalism and public relations professor at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Mitchell Land, director of UNT’s Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, says the news of Dave Edmondson's resignation, coming on the heels of Radio Shack's 62 percent fourth quarter sales drop, offers the company an opportunity to deal with both problems head-on.

"The company needs to say, ‘We are going to be in a better position now. We are responsible stewards for the stockholders, and we should focus on the future. Regrouping will help us in the long term,’" Land says.

Radio Shack's biggest assets, he says, are its longtime customers and suppliers and the company should appeal to those groups for support.

"People and companies like to do business with those they know and trust. Companies must never give that up," Land says.

Edmondson, who started working at Radio Shack in 1994 and became CEO in May, resigned on

Feb. 20, less than week after a Fort Worth Star-Telegram investigation uncovered inaccuracies in the academic record he listed on his résumé and in his corporate biography. The newspaper began examining Edmondson's background after learning that the executive had been arrested three times on suspicion of drunken driving and is scheduled to face the most recent charge in court in April.

Land says if Edmondson had disclosed the discrepancies as soon as the paper reported them, it would have helped the company.

Dr. Ronald W. Hasty, a professor of marketing and logistics in UNT’s College of Business Administration, says that while every business professional uses a ethics to make decisions about what is right and what is wrong, "a person who is dishonest or inaccurate in reporting academic achievements or personal accomplishments on a professional résumé is sending a message that his or her standard of ethics cannot be trusted in other areas."

Hasty and other UNT experts acknowledge resumes that cross the line between truth and untruth are a huge and growing problem.

For that reason, Dr. Nancy Boyd Lillie, a UNT associate professor of management who teaches business ethics courses, says it is more important than ever for employers to verify information on resumes to protect themselves from liability litigation.

Dan Naegeli, director of the UNT Career Center, says his staff emphasizes to students that lying about their qualifications on a résumé "can eventually cost them a job, and perhaps even an entire career." The Career Center conducted a workshop of résumé preparation and presentation for students in UNT’s Professional Leadership Program this week.

"We recommend that, instead of exaggerating qualifications on a résumé, candidates focus on the description of the job they are seeking, and highlight their qualifications that directly or indirectly relate to that specific job. The ‘targeted resume' is a very effective marketing tool for any job seeker, and almost any candidate, regardless of experience or educational level, can use it," Naegeli says.

April Kuykendall, career advisor for the UNT College of Business Administration and an adjunct instructor on the business faculty, led the résumé workshop. She says that with ethics drawing much attention because of high-profile news like Edmondson’s inaccurate résumé, she focused the workshop "on the importance of honesty and accuracy in building résumés."

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108