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Texas Instruments: A Long History of Putting Ethics into Action

Cynthia Hoff Trochu SVP, secretary and GC of Texas Instruments.
Cynthia Hoff Trochu SVP, Secretary & GC of Texas Instruments.

Ethisphere Magazine’s Q1 issue featured an interview with Cynthia Hoff Trochu Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Texas Instruments on the topic of sustaining a culture of transparency.

As an 86-year-old company and a 10-time honoree on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list, Texas Instruments (TI) has demonstrated a long history of putting ethics into action. “TI has had an ethics program for 50 years, and it remains vibrant from all 30,000 employees knowing that if they see something that doesn’t look right, to raise it,” comments Cynthia Hoff Trochu, the company’s Secretary and General Counsel. “We are accountable to each other, our customers, our stakeholders and our communities. ‘Know what’s right, do what’s right’ is the mantra we work by.”

Their culture of accountability, based on the core values of integrity, innovation and commitment, applies both internally and externally, she notes. “Our leadership is held accountable for compliance across the company. TIers receive training and are expected to follow our Code of Conduct, which guides how we behave and how we operate…. We also communicate our expectations to our suppliers that they adhere to our ethical values so that we can influence responsible and fair business practices throughout our supply chain.”

The framework they’ve established and honed over decades helps make it all possible, she says. “We have a strong central ethics office and a strong corporate compliance program, but we also have ownership across many functions and across the employee base.

The culture enhances all our relationships—with customers, suppliers, government and community leaders—and it binds employees together as well. That trust makes doing business easier.”

Effective oversight and solid values have helped propel the company forward and build a solid reputation in the industry. “We view our ability to operate ethically and lawfully as an asset—as vital as the technologies we develop and bring to the marketplace,” says Hoff Trochu. “We are committed to applying the highest ethical standards of integrity to every aspect of our business, demonstrating the respect we have for our customers, suppliers, investors, employees and the communities in which we operate.”

Not a company to rest on its laurels, Texas Instruments continues to monitor, refine and advance its program year over year. “We continually assess ourselves against the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and other models, and over the past many years, we have focused each year on an element of our program to make sure it’s optimal for our risk model,” she says.

“This year we are taking a look at our risk assessment practices to confirm we’re addressing the breadth of new regulatory schemes as well as the way in which we conduct the assessments to ensure we have the right depth and forward vision on gaps and action plans.”

A decade on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies (WME) list is evidence of their success. “As a company, we’ve appreciated the 10 years of recognition that WME confers on our program,” says Hoff Trochu. “The designation has meaning for TIers, the people we recruit to TI as well as our business partners.”

Her advice to other businesses aspiring to the recognition? “Remember that actions speak louder than words. When you do the right things, good results, including recognition, will follow.”

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