Preliminary results of Apple's investigation of the Wistron riot -- full text

From the Hindustan Times' "Apple puts Wistron on probation, no more business till corrective actions are completed" posted early Saturday:

Apple employees and independent auditors hired by Apple have been working around the clock to investigate the issues which occurred at Wistron’s Narasapura facility. While these investigations are ongoing, our preliminary findings indicate violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct by failing to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to payment delays for some workers in October and November.

As always, our focus is on making sure everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect. We are very disappointed and taking immediate steps to address these issues. Wistron has taken disciplinary action and is restructuring their recruitment and payroll teams in Narasapura. They have also set up an employee assistance program and a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and English to ensure all workers at the facility can voice any concerns, anonymously.

We have placed Wistron on probation and they will not receive any new business from Apple before they complete corrective actions. Apple employees, along with independent auditors, will monitor their progress. Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly.

My take: Wistron has fired the vice president in charge of its India operations. Who on Apple's team was watching over him (or her)?


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple did right (as I knew they would) responding quickly to this shocking and repulsive event. India is vital, integral and fundamental with Apple’s strategic initiative to become a viable Indian market competitor similar with Apple’s China success. There is no greater market on the planet available to Apple for continued growth going forward.

    A corrective action plan is now in place and it is up to Apple staffs to see all corrective actions are taken. As for Apple…. someone, as PED denotes, in the senior executive ranks of Apple has responsibility to monitor India’s operations and this senior executive failed in his/her job and should be held accountable, as appropriate.

    December 19, 2020
    • David Emery said:
      I’m interested in just how far Apple should go in monitoring its supply chain. Would you expect Apple Execs to visit each factory? Should they monitor payments to workers? If so, how?

      There’s one theory of management that says “let subordinates run their businesses, and react to exceptions.” There’s another theory that says “organizations only do what the managers check.” Somewhere in there is a balance of feasible and effective oversight. I don’t know where that point is, frankly, even after a lot of military leader training that emphasizes “The Commander is Responsible for Everything that Happens in his Command.”

      December 19, 2020
  2. Bart Yee said:
    That would be:
    Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer and
    Sabih Khan, Senior Vice President Operations
    Khan’s Apple Leadership page:
    “Sabih Khan is Apple’s senior vice president of Operations reporting to COO Jeff Williams. Sabih is in charge of Apple’s global supply chain, ensuring product quality and overseeing planning, procurement, manufacturing, logistics and product fulfillment functions, as well as Apple’s supplier responsibility programs that protect and educate workers at production facilities around the world.”

    Nov. 2018 – Ashish Chowdhary appointed as Country Manager for India overseeing the sales functions.
    Apple India is currently headed by an Apple veteran Michael Coulomb.

    December 19, 2020
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Thanks for the update on this story.

    It is sad that it took rioting and vandalism to get corrective action. Sadder still that it had been brewing for weeks (as reported).

    December 19, 2020

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