Quigley Dragged Into Costa Rica Scandal

11:00 AM -- It seems the knives are out for former Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) executive Mike Quigley, who is now running NBN Co Ltd. , the company that's building out Australia's next-generation broadband network. (See Quigley Lands Major FTTP Role.)

Quigley had overall responsibility for Costa Rica as part of his 'Americas' brief during the time when local Alcatel employees in the Latin American country were bribing operator officials to sign GSM mobile network equipment contracts. AlcaLu recently struck a deal to settle various corruption cases, including the one in Costa Rica, details of which first came to light in 2004. (See SEC Lays Out AlcaLu Charges, Euronews: Dec. 28 and Costa del Kickback?)

And now it seems Quigley is being subjected to a public trial in the media regarding his connection to the unit at the heart of the scandal. See this Australian report for more.

Quigley was a familiar figure to Light Reading during his time at Alcatel, and many believe Alcatel-Lucent would have got off to a better start if he had been named as CEO.

And although this counts for nothing, he always struck this reporter as someone who would kick the rear end of anyone he found engaging in corrupt practices, especially within his own company, and not a person who would turn a blind eye or sanction such behavior. It's just possible that Quigley is currently being placed under pressure because he is at the helm of a politically contentious and expensive national project, and not because anyone actually believes he did anything wrong.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:05:12 PM
re: Quigley Dragged Into Costa Rica Scandal

it amazes me how everyone can give a "by" to these kind of stories.  Either he was complicit or he was incompetent. How do millions of dollars get funneled to consultants without the division head knowing about it or worse, the division head not questioning the outlay of cash?  

And how could he "not know" that Costa Rica was part of his territory?  I looked at his quote...paraphrasing here: "contrary to previous advice, I now know it was part of my territory.

Come on folks.  A senior executive not knowing the basic geography for his territory?  Any rookie beginner knows that.  And how could he not know about millions and millions being paid via "consultants"?  If he did not know, then he was clearly not managing the division nor doing his job.  I don't know of many executives in this business that would allow millions to go out the door to consultants without knowing exactly where it was going.  At least non of the executives I have ever worked for.  This would be especially true during the times mentioned when ALU was in desperate cash situation and was looking at how to cut costs in every department.  Surely there would have been a detailed review of such expenditures?  Especially when it was happening in several countries at once?  Seems to me to be a pretty big line item in the SG&A budgets for those countries.

I think this is a case of "make the numbers" overriding all other concerns causing folks to look the other way so they could pretend they did not know.

While the investigation found nothing to attach to Mike, we all know how these things work and the reality of how deep the investigation actually went.  Despite it lasting for years, the investigation was quite shallow I would guess.  (note: I lived in central america for some time and everyone there knows how it worked... it is just us here in the good ole USA who seem to believe that business is pure and ethical)

It is common knowledge that these things happen in 3rd world countries and that pretty much all the big players engage in this game in one form or another.  

but, like in politics, the "truth" is held by the person who writes the history, and often bears little resemblance to what actually happened.  Always easier to throw a couple of "underlings" to the wolves than to take actual responsibility.

This story sounds to me like a long line of "plausible deniability".

He was after all the "captain of the ship".

Now I know Quigley is popular with a lot of folks and that I will probably be flamed for this post.  But come on folks... does anyone really believe this stuff?  And yes, I know Mike's personality is that he would "kick someones hind quarters" if he knew.  Back to my point, how could a competent senior manager not know where millions were going?  Again, either not doing his job (he should have known), or was aware and looked the other way while making sure to have no trail to connect him.  Can only be one way or the other.  Which is it?   


chevy7942 12/5/2012 | 5:05:10 PM
re: Quigley Dragged Into Costa Rica Scandal

I worked for Alcatel during those years.  The levels of management was insulating to the CEO.  You had Directors, reporting to Assistant Vice Presidents, reporting to Regional Vice Presidents, who reported to Sr. Vice Presidents, which reported to Quigley. 

I know Mike personally and I know he would have not sanctioned unethical behaivor.  He was running a multi Billion dollar orginization.  he did not track down to the million or two, he relied on his staff.

yarn 12/5/2012 | 5:05:07 PM
re: Quigley Dragged Into Costa Rica Scandal

Yeah, sounds like a case of people down the totempole moving to the dark side in trying to make their numbers or landing a big commission.

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