Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job

AUTHOR: Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management

Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
  • Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
    Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
    Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
    Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management
To his Facebook friends and Twitter followers, Gene Morphis was like the rest of the world, using social media to vent about day-to-day frustrations of his job.
But Mr. Morphis wasn't like most employees. He happened to be an officer of a public company. On Monday, his musings cost him his job.

Mr. Morphis was chief financial officer of fashion retailer Francesca's Holdings Corp. The Houston-based company fired him because he "improperly communicated company information through social media," the company said.

He declined to comment. Francesca's Holdings didn't respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Morphis has maintained a publicly viewable profile on Facebook, authored a blog called "Morph's View" and maintained a Twitter account under the handle "theoldcfo." Online, he discussed everything from Christmas to college basketball, and occasionally company doings. It was those posts that landed him in trouble.

On March 6, for instance, he tweeted: "Dinner w/Board tonite. Used to be fun. Now one must be on guard every second." The following day, he posted "Board meeting. Good numbers=Happy Board."

On March 13 Mr. Morphis posted on Facebook about a company earnings call: "Earnings released. Conference call completed. How do you like me now Mr. Shorty?"
Months earlier, on Dec. 5, he posted about another investor call. "Cramming for earnings call like a final. I thought I had outgrown that..."

Mr. Morphis also posted about an investor road show on Jan. 27: "Road show completed. Sold $275 million of secondary shares. Earned my pay this week." (The retailer held an initial public offering last July.)

The company said it launched an internal investigation with the assistance of outside counsel after discovering the activity on Friday afternoon. The company said Mr. Morphis was "terminated for cause."  Rachel Emma Silverman  May 14, 2012 online.wsj.com

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