He looks more like a tenured professor than a zealous consumer advocate. He is soft spoken with round wire glasses and a navy sports coat, a warm smile and gray curly hair. He is Michael Jacobson, executive director and co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and at first glance it looks like he’s more likely to serve up a warm cup of tea than a lawsuit.
During boon times, management energy is rarely spent worrying about violations of top-level employment agreements when hiring new executives. But when a downturn comes, companies are watching their backs.
Consider Starbucks Corp.’s well-publicized lawsuit against a former division head for breaching a noncompetition agreement to join rival coffee chain Dunkin’ Brands Inc. The ex-Starbucks executive, Paul Twohig, agreed to settle out of court, paying his former employer $500,000 and subsequently delaying his start date, Starbucks disclosed.
In the aftermath of the massive earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12, the restaurant industry has responded with various fundraising initiatives to help the devastated Caribbean island nation.
The destruction was “unimaginable,” in the words of Haitian President René Préval, whose presidential palace lay in ruins after an early-morning earthquake that may have killed as many as 200,000 people. The earthquake razed large sections of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, burying countless bodies in the wreckage of collapsed buildings.