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T.J. Rodgers Sister Gormley Case Study 5 1

942 words - 4 pages

Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
DATE: TO: COPY: FROM: SUBJECT:
  Background March 27, 2013 T. J. Rodgers, President, and CEO For eyes only Vibha Kant, Vice President – Investor Relations REVIEW OF RESPONSE LETTER TO SISTER DORIS

On April 23, 1996, Cypress received a letter from the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The latter is a religious congregation of approximately 1,000 women and was, at the time the letter was written, the beneficial owner of a number of Cypress shares. The letter was a form letter, and it carried the stamped signature of Doris Gormley, OSF. In the letter, Sister Doris, speaking for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia as a Cypress shareholder, ...view middle of the document...

The second part attempts to create a philosophical argument concerning the morality of the original inquiry. The last part is a political statement about the effect of social pressures on businesses. Of these three parts, the later two parts are highly personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Cypress in this matter. The original letter from Sister Gormley raised valid questions concerning the selection practices for our board of directors. While the first part of the response letter does adequately redress the original concerns, the other two parts are a highly personal stance concerning morality and the role of social pressures on businesses. These types of personal comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Cypress or its board of directors, and take a strong position in response to concerns raised by current investors. This position does have its merits, yet a letter to a group of

investors is not the correct forum to espouse such a position. Additionally, sending the response to all shareholders and other similar interest groups can be deemed inappropriate. Recommendations Generally speaking, every concern raised by our investors should be addressed with an appropriate response outlining the current policy and any specific facts supporting the results of that policy. Person’s comments concerning the morality behind those concerns may have a valid basis, but should be taken to another forum. Taking such a stance in a corporate letter places Cypress in a questionable position and could damage our relationship with our investors. 1. Getting rid of the angry tone and focusing on the important points. The letter can be written in a way that is consistent with the writer’s principles and at the same time inviting the recipient to reconsider his or her views. 2. Rewording the letter to avoid provoking defensiveness. "Thank you for your letter criticizing the lack of racial and gender diversity of Cypress's Board of...

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