Roger H Ballou - CDI Corporation

The following is a summary of the problems and issues that I have raised with Roger H Ballou about Management Recruiters International, often called MRI Network, the global recruitment franchise that is wholly owned by CDI Corporation. It raises a number of serious ethical questions about their business practices and some legal issues of misstatements both by Roger H Ballou and by Joseph R Seiders, CDI Corporations General Counsel. Additionally it discusses the performance of CDI Corporation Stock

Roger H Ballou was the President and Chief Executive Officer He was pensioned off on January 10th 2011. Read about the ethical problems he refused to address. He was 59 years old. His salary cash package in 2005 was $567,500 USD plus $25,000 bonus. He also received stock options to the value of $2,270,000 in 2005.Source He has had his contract renewed with CDI Corporation effective from 1st January 2008 with a base salary of $750,000 USD per annum plus bonus and stock options. Source CDI. His total compensation in 2009 was $1,086,600 US Dollars. Source (2010)

Roger H Ballou's response - CDI Corporation:

In summary, my personal experience of Roger H Ballou, CEO of CDI Corporation, has been one of him refusing to address the ethical and morale issues that I have raised with him over a number of years. This started in 2003, when I lost substantial sums of money as a Management Recruiters International franchisee by working with someone (Mr JW) who CDI Corporation's wholly owned subsidiary, MRI Network represented to me, and the whole of the MRI Network, for years as a regular bone-fide franchisee. The reality and truth was far from that.

The person that they continuously and falsely represented as a franchisee to me and to all other franchisees (Mr JW), dated from their acquisition in 1999 to 26th March 2003.

As a real and genuine Management Recruiters International franchisee, I worked as trained and encouraged by MRI with other MRI franchisees. I worked with Mr JW as I was led to believe that he too was a real and regular franchisee. Why, because that is how MRI portrayed him, not just to me, but to the whole of the Management Recruiters International franchise network. For details see Years of Misrepresentation by MRI Network. Mr JW defaulted on payment to me in the same way that he had been defaulting on payment to MRI for years earlier. I then tried to obtain assistance from MRI Corporate office and in my opinion, I was treated very badly by Steve Mills, I raised a formal complaint and copied it to Roger H Ballou. He replied and said that it would be dealt with by the newly appointed COO of MRI Network, Ken Hagerstrom. He (Ken Hagerstrom) promised to respond to each of the points in my formal complaint. However, he did not do so. I spoke to Ken Hagerstrom about this and he told me that Roger Ballou had personally intervened to stop the response. Shortly after that Ken Hagerstrom left CDI Corporation.

Having my promised reply stopped by Roger H Ballou CEO of CDI Corporation, I wrote (email) to him about these issues in a formal complaint, and asked if and when the promised reply would be forthcoming, but he failed to respond. I wrote a several times repeating my request and increased to circulation list to include some MRI Network franchisees. It was not until I did this, that he eventually responded. I know that by that time, a number of other Management Recruiters International franchisees had also raised the issue with him and 'encouraged him' to respond. They were not taking sides, they (like me) felt that it was improper that the Chairman and CEO of CDI Corporation should fail to respond to my formal complaint.

Roger H Ballou's eventual response was to appoint Joseph R Seiders, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CDI Corporation, to review my 10 point formal complaint. It was then some 3.5 months after initially raising this formal complaint that I received something back - but not a lot!. Joseph R Seiders also promised to respond to my complaint but failed to do so. He responded, but not to any of the 10 points of my formal complaint. Instead, he created some 'imaginary theme' from my complaint and stated that they 'simply disagree' with that imaginary theme.

This response was a complete none sense. Firstly, there was no 'theme' to my complaint, they were 10 discrete and separate points. Secondly their statement of 'we simply disagree' was totally illogical and out of context to my complaint. Let me show you the first two items from my complaint to justify this view:

1. Duty of Care/Negligence: Why were we not warned about about the financial problems of another office that we were working with?

2. Coercion to sign a get-out clause regarding MRI Negligence. Shortly after I alerted Mr Steve Mills to the financial problems we had with Mr JW, and was led to believe that he could help recover the situation, he turned his attention to attempting to extract a 'get-out' clause against Management Recruiters International negligence. He then spent more time trying to get me to sign a legal get-out clause than working together on trying to solve the problem of our lost money and continuing to supply our client. He even resorted to saying (in writing and verbally) that unless we signed a get-out clause that he would not help us.

Now these two statements, are not statements that you can 'simply disagree with'. It may be appropriate to say, we don't think we should have warned you, because we believe it is reasonable that we falsely represented Mr JW to you and the Management Recruiters International franchisees for years. Or that it was reasonable that Steve Mills applied coercion to get attempt to force you to sign a get-out clause for MRI Networks negligence, but to 'simply disagree' with the facts is crass illogical stupidity in my opinion.

So my first interaction with Roger H Ballou was one were I believe he was continually ducking the issues that I raised in the formal complaint. The dilemma he faces by doing this, in my opinion, is that he has never admitted that anything was wrong. This in my opinion is another crass decision as it implies that if it was OK then, it is OK now. So that situation that existed then could well exist now or in the future in the Management Recruiters International franchise as I do not believe they have ever been properly addressed.

Recent Correspondence to Roger H Ballou CEO CDI Corporation:

I have been continuing to write to Roger H Ballou, CEO of CDI Corporation (owners of Management Recruiters International, often called MRINetwork) in an attempt to get him to address a number of issues. In general he has failed to even acknowledge receipt of most of my emails and where he has responded, it has been lacking in any detail or failing to answer the questions raised. I will show the summary of my recent mails here below. Read the letters and form your own opinion as why Roger he keeps refusing to answer these ethical franchise issues.

In summary they are:

1. CDI Corporation - Sarbanes Oxley Concerns (1)

Issues relating to the legal requirements under Sarbanes-Oxley rules. Specifically (1) how much did he declare in the write-off of Mr JW's debt under his Sarbanes-Oxley rules, and (2) when did he do this, i.e. which quarter does it cover in the audited accounts. These rules are a legal requirement and failure to implement them carries very serious penalties. So far he has not answered either question. To view that letter and the background click Roger H Ballou-Sarbanes-Oxley.

2. Roger H Ballou - failure to answer

Read about his 'head in the sand approach and failure to address fundamental ethical issues within his own organisation and management. To view that letter click Roger H Ballou - lack of replies (1)

3. Damage to CDI revenues and Loss of franchisees through Breach of Contract

My perceptions of the damage and implications of Roger H Ballou's actions or inactions to the MRI Network and the long term revenue losses that could occur. It explains why I believe that most, if not all, existing franchisees could choose to terminate their franchise agreements today, through breach of contract that I believe he has created. To view that letter click Roger H Ballou - Damage to MRINetwork

4. Truthfulness of Joseph R Seiders' Affidavit

My concerns over the truthfulness of the sworn affidavit that his Senior Vice President, General Council and Secretary of CDI Corporation, Joseph R Seiders made to the Ohio Courts to avert my legal action against MRI. Read the facts and form your own opinion on the truthfulness of Joseph R Seiders affidavit statement made to the Ohio Courts. To view that letter click Joseph R Seiders' Affidavit

5. CDI Corporation - Sarbanes-Oxley (2)

My ongoing concerns over the lack of reply relating to the outstanding Sarbanes-Oxley questions raised in mail 1 above. To view that letter click CDI Corporation Sarbanes-Oxley Concerns

6. Misstatements by Roger H Ballou, CEO CDI Corporation

Roger H Ballou, in my opinion, made some astonishing declarations at his 2nd quarterly review of CDI Corporations financial results, on 26th July 2007. He has gone on record and appears to have has claimed publicly that the points raised on this web site are not true! Is he in denial? Read what he said and form your own opinion on Roger his truthfulness to shareholders. To view this information click Roger H Ballou Denial

7. Management Recruiters International - Misrepresentation

Read about the years of misrepresentation by Management Recruiters International. Read how they represented someone who's franchise agreement had expired years earlier and who was in astonishing (and growing) arrears on franchise royalty payment was misrepresented for years as a genuine franchisee. See how their senior management behaved when they knew a genuine franchisee was about to work with him in the false belief that he was regular MRI Network franchisee. MRINetwork Misrepresentation (for years)

8. Steve Mills denies responsibility

The facts are discussed around the consequences of the years on misrepresentation by MRINetwork leading to Steve Mills denial of responsibility. Roger H Ballou of CDI Corporation, owners of MRI Network is asked if he denies responsibility too. Read the facts and form your own opinion on the ethics of Management Recruiters International and their owners CDI Corporation as a franchisor. Steve Mills denies responsibility

9. CDI Corporation Stock under performs

Read about the poor performance of CDI Corporation stock since Roger H Ballou has been the CEO. Read the comparisons and ask why CDI Corporation Stock is under performing against the NYSE average.

10. Management Recruiters International Coercion

Read about how Steve Mills tried and tried again to force me into signing a get-out clause for MRI Networks negligence. Management Recruiters International Coercion.

11. Management Recruiters International Break Agreements.

Read how Steve Mills, managing director of MRIWW made written agreements with franchisee then broke them repeatedly. Read how he even misled his own management in an internal report.

12. AndersElite found guilty of anti-competitive trading

CDI AndersElite staffing subsidiary has been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour practices by the Office of Fair trading and has been fined £7.6 million UK Pounds, approximately $12.2 million US Dollars.

13. Steve Mills Lies on Oath

Read about the blatant lie Steve Mills Managing Director of MRI Network gave on oath to Ohio Courts.

14. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate CDI Corporation

Accusations of false claims by CDI Corporation are being investigated by the Department of Justice. Fines could amount to $4.3 million US Dollars. Department of Justice investigate CDI Corporation.

15. COO MRI WorldWide makes nonsense statements.

Read the actual words of Steve Mills that he made to Ohio courts whilst on oath and consider his logical thinking ability. Consider his business acumen and the common attributes he shares with Roger H Ballou. Steve Mills illogical statements.

16. Department of Justice (DOJ) fine CDI Corporation

CDI Corporation agreed to pay United States $1.95 million Dollars. “Those who contract with the U.S. military must do so fairly and honestly,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “Taxpayers should not foot the bill when government contractors charge for work that was not done.” Read the statement by the US Department of Justice.

Roger Ballou Resigns as CEO of CDI Corporation

In January 2011 Roger Ballou resigned as CEO of from CDI Corporation. Ballou left CDI Corporation in a significantly worse state than when he arrived. Read Ballou's legacy for CDI COrporation.

Ballou was replaced by Paulett Eberhart as CEO. I will be writing to Paulett Eberhart shortly about the unethical issues that Ballou presided over.

Ballou still works for a number of other organisations including Fox Chase Bank as a Board member. I have written to Tom Petro, CEO of Fox Chase Bank to enquire whether he is comfortable having a liar on his board. It will be interesting to see how he responds to this information. See my firstletter to Tom Petro CEO Fox Chase Bank.

Tom Petro, CEO of Fox Chase Bank replies to the information that he is employing a liar on the bank's Board. His reply does not indicate his intended action to the news.

Fox Chase Bank Review. It has now been more than 5 months since Tom Petro was aware that he is employing a liar on the Board of the bank. Read my second mail to Petro asking why.