5 Shameful Corporate Scandals That Won't Go Away in 2018

Corporate scandals dominated the headlines in 2017. Uber alone experienced dozens of scandals in 2017.

corporate scandalsAnd it's almost guaranteed many of the 2017 corporate scandals listed below will carry over into 2018.

Here's a look at five of the most shameful corporate scandals that will follow these companies into the new year...

Most Shameful Corporate Scandals, No. 5: Uber Technologies Inc.

The problems for ride-hailing giant Uber in 2017 started almost immediately.

On Jan. 28, the day U.S. President Donald Trump signed his executive travel ban, thousands of protests broke out at airports across the country. During a taxi driver work stoppage, and much to the dismay of protesters, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick directed his staff to continue working during the events. Coincidentally, Kalanick was also part of Trump's Economic Advisory Council at the time.

Angry customers accused the company of attempting to profit from the taxi protest, and the hashtag #DeleteUber began trending on Twitter - prompting Kalanick's resignation from the council.

But Uber's PR nightmare had just begun...

Just two weeks later, on Feb. 19, a former Uber employee outed the company for widespread, severe sexual harassment in the workplace, and #DeleteUber started trending again on Twitter.


Who Is Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's New CEO?

At least half a million users (nothing compared to the number of people who were affected by our top corporate scandal) deleted their existing Uber accounts by May 2017.

Uber then suffered a string of high-profile resignations. Vice President for Product and Growth Ed Baker, company President Jeff Jones, and Head of Communications Policy Rachel Whetstone all resigned within a month.

In August, former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi became the new CEO of Uber. Since then, Uber has been denied a license in London (effectively banning the company there), been accused of using a "secret tool" to sidestep governments, and has lost its UK boss, Jo Bertram.

Most Shameful Corporate Scandals, No. 4: United Continental Holdings Inc.

corporate scandals 2017
Source: Youtube

Perhaps the most notorious corporate scandal of 2017 involved United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL). On April 9, a video of a forcible, bloody removal of a passenger on an overbooked flight went viral. In the following six months, the video was viewed more than 5 billion times.

The incident disgusted airline customers across the globe. Protesters took to social media, posting images of their cut-up United credit cards.

After releasing an uninspired apology for "having to re-accommodate" the passenger that sparked even more outrage, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized profusely for the incident.

However, the damage had already been done...

United stock took a hit, as shares of UAL slipped more than 4% on April 11, just two days after the incident. The company's market value plummeted $1 billion in just 48 hours.

The feds even got involved. On May 2, Munoz was grilled by Washington lawmakers over how United handled the situation. A U.S. Senate panel held a separate hearing May 4.

Three months later, on Oct. 18, the officers involved in the dragging were fired by the Chicago Department of Aviation. But the drama is far from over...

The Aviation Department confirmed that a review of its policies and procedures was underway and would be complete by the first quarter of next year, according to the inspector general's latest report.

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"As we have clearly stated, the department is taking every action in our power to ensure that an incident like this never, ever occurs again," said aviation spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.

Most Shameful Corporate Scandals, No. 3: Perrigo Co.

American pharmaceuticals company Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO), the world's largest manufacturer of over-the-counter drugs, found itself at the center of a corporate scandal in May 2017.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the drug distributor's office was raided by the Department of Justice as part of a wide-ranging investigation into possible price collusion in the generic drugs business.

"Price collusion" is when companies conspire together to create an unfair market advantage.

Drugs made by the company were part of the probe. Specifically, their popular antifungal skin cream, which experienced a 539% price increase in just under four months.

The government has long been looking at the price of skin drugs made by Perrigo and a handful of others, according to a Feb. 28 document filed in court. About a dozen other Big Pharma companies have disclosed they've received subpoenas related to drug pricing as well, including Mylan NV (Nasdaq: MYL), who was part of the notorious EpiPen price scandal last year.

Perrigo's woes are likely to continue into 2018 as the Trump administration furthers its crackdown on price collusion and unfair practices.

This next corporate scandal dates back to late 2016 and is still affecting consumers (and their money) today. It also included the largest fine ever levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...

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Most Shameful Corporate Scandals, No. 2: Wells Fargo & Co.

corporate scandals 2018The Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) scam of late 2016 carried over into 2017 and will continue to plague the company into next year.

Must Read: The Wells Fargo Scam Was Not Unique - Other Banks Do the Same Thing

From 2011 to mid-2016, Wells Fargo employees created over 1.5 million fake accounts and generated half a million unauthorized credit card applications - racking up over $2.6 million in fees for the bank, according to Forbes.

In late 2016, after the fraudulent practices were revealed, Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $185 million in fines to city and federal regulators - the largest penalty since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was founded in 2011.

As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to make changes to its sales practices and internal oversight.

However, the bank still faces a handful more of investigations, lawsuits, and inquires related to the scandal.

Most Shameful Corporate Scandals, No. 1: Equifax Inc.


The Equifax Scandal Is Far from Over

The Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) scandal was one of the largest data breaches in history.

The credit-reporting firm exposed the personal details of up to 143 million U.S. customers - or nearly half of the U.S. population - earlier this year.

Sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit cards numbers, birthdays, addresses, and in some instances, driver's license numbers were all compromised in the hack.

Even worse, some of the company's top executives sold over $1.8 million worth of shares in the company just days after the breach was discovered. The public was not aware of the breach until more than six weeks later.

The scandal prompted CEO Richard Smith to abruptly step down, and Equifax's shares fell more than 30% in seven days.

But the damage is far from over. In fact, Equifax's scandal has put a long-overdue spotlight on the credit-reporting industry.

"For far too long these companies have been out there collecting our personal data," said Maura Healy, a Massachusetts attorney general investigating Equifax, to NPR on Oct. 18. "We never gave them permission to collect it, let alone to sell it to other entities."

Healy is one of more than 30 state attorney generals scrutinizing the company.

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