Extraordinary Circumstances. The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower

  • ID: 2219888
  • Book
  • 416 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"Outstanding! This page–turning account of the WorldCom fiasco reads like a suspense novel. I was on the edge of my seat to the last page. …This book should be required reading for leaders everywhere."
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager

Available for the first time in paperback, Extraordinary Circumstances recounts Cooper′s journey from her close family upbringing in a small Mississippi town to being named one of Time′s 2002 Persons of the Year. She provides a rare insider′s glimpse into the spectacular rise and fall of WorldCom, a telecom titan, the darling of Wall Street, and a Cinderella story for Mississippi.

Extraordinary Circumstances makes it clear that the tone set at the top is critical to fostering an ethical environment in the workplace. Provocative, moving, and intensely personal, Extraordinary Circumstances is a wake–up call to corporate leaders and an intimate glimpse at a scandal that shook the business world.

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Dedication vi

Introduction vii

Acknowledgments xi

CHAPTER 1 A Dark Cloud 1

CHAPTER 2 Graduation Day 12

CHAPTER 3 New Beginnings 26

CHAPTER 4 Hotlanta 41

CHAPTER 5 The Turnaround 50

CHAPTER 6 Coming Home 60

CHAPTER 7 Building A New Life 71

CHAPTER 8 King of the Resellers 82

CHAPTER 9 The Hottest Company in Town 91

CHAPTER 10 Nowhere to Go But Up 105

CHAPTER 11 A New Era 123

CHAPTER 12 The Glass Sieve 137

CHAPTER 13 The Tide Comes In 145

CHAPTER 14 The Minnow Swallows the Whale 151

CHAPTER 15 Finding Balance 163

CHAPTER 16 Top of the Mountain 167

CHAPTER 17 A Double–Edged Sword 174

CHAPTER 18 A Titan Stumbles 184

CHAPTER 19 The Rule of Ten 202

CHAPTER 20 What is Prepaid Capacity? 217

CHAPTER 21 Growing Suspicions 229

CHAPTER 22 A Surprise Visit 242

CHAPTER 23 The Confrontation 251

CHAPTER 24 A Desperate Search For Counsel 265

CHAPTER 25 Washington Attorneys Visit the Deep South 280

CHAPTER 26 Navigating the Storm 296

CHAPTER 27 A Visit to Federal Court 322

CHAPTER 28 The United States Versus Bernard J. Ebbers 338

CHAPTER 29 The Judgment 351




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CYNTHIA COOPER was one of Time′s 2002 Persons of the Year. She was the vice president of internal audit for WorldCom and subsequently MCI. Cynthia was featured as one of twenty–five influential working mothers in Working Mother magazine, and earned the distinction of being the first woman to receive the AAA Accounting Exemplar Award and to be inducted into the AICPA Business & Industry Hall of Fame. She resigned from MCI in 2004, following the company′s successful emergence from bankruptcy, and now shares the lessons she has learned through her experiences with professionals and students. She and her husband Lance reside in Mississippi with their two daughters.

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