According to David Solomon, Vice President and Director of Ethics at Texas Instruments, a respect for history is an important part of the TI culture. From its beginnings as an oil exploration company in the 1930s and throughout its evolution into a $13 billion dollar leader in the technology industry, ethics have also been an integral part of the company’s core values. “What we have behind us is a long history of doing the right thing,” Solomon said, “as well as the momentum to keep doing it.” Solomon spoke on July 24, 2015 to a group of local business leaders on the topic of ethics and compliance as part of the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business Sustainable Business Network event. Texas Instruments hosted over 80 attendees from a variety of local companies, including Oncor, Sabre, PepsiCo, Bell Helicopter, Fidelity Investments, Cucina Antiqua, along with a large cohort from AT&T.
“A true commitment to ethics comes from the top,” Solomon said. “TI’s leaders establish the ‘tone at the top’ by communicating to the entire their own commitment to doing business the right way.” In order to ensure that everyone at Texas Instruments understands the importance of ethical behavior, Solomon travels to TI sites around the world speaking with leaders and employees to help them understand the company’s code of conduct.
In 2015, Texas Instruments was named as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Magazine for the 9th consecutive year and was named 2nd in Industry on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list for 12th consecutive year. Solomon believes that TI has achieved these accolades because ethics is a priority for everyone in the company. “We have always had an open door policy at TI,” Solomon said. To reinforce this, the company has established 13 mostly anonymous channels for employees to communicate concerns about ethics or compliance.
Solomon also addressed how an emphasis on ethics affects the company’s global interests. “We want to do business the right way at Texas Instruments. We carry the message around the world–into countries or cultures where employees might be reluctant to report a compliance issue,” he said. According to Solomon, this commitment to ethics helps TI recruit top-quality employees. “Telling our story helps us recruit the right people. They want to work for a good company,” he said.
The University of Dallas Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is an open forum for building relationships, exchanging best practices, and fostering dialogue around issues of corporate social responsibility, sustainability and eco-innovation, and corporate governance. Hosted by the AACSB-accredited Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas, SBN hosts quarterly events and panel discussions on relevant topics led by recognized industry experts. Information on the next SBN event can be found at here.