Extraordinary Circumstances by Cynthia Cooper
The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower

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Synopsis

The longer WorldCom Chief Audit Executive Cynthia Cooper stares at the entries in front of her, the more sinister they seem. But the CFO is badgering her to delay her team's audit of the company's books and directing others to block Cooper's efforts. Still, something in the pit of her stomach tells her to keep digging. Cooper takes readers behind the scenes on a riveting, real-time journey as she and her team work at night and behind closed doors to expose the largest fraud in corporate history. Whom can they trust? Could she lose her job? Should she fear for her physical safety?

In Extraordinary Circumstances, she recounts for the first time her journey from her close family upbringing in a small Mississippi town, to working motherhood and corporate success, to the pressures of becoming a whistleblower, to being named one of Time's 2002 Persons of the Year. She also provides a rare insider's glimpse into the spectacular rise and fall of WorldCom, a telecom titan, the darling of Wall Street, and a Cinderella story for Mississippi.

With remarkable candor, Cooper discusses her struggle to overcome these challenges, and how she has found healing through sharing the lessons learned with the next generation. This book reminds us all that ethical decision-making is not forged at the crossroads of major events but starts in childhood, "decision by decision and brick by brick."

At a time when corporate dishonesty is dominating public attention, Extraordinary Circumstances makes it clear that the tone set at the top is critical to fostering an ethical environment in the work-place. Provocative, moving, and intensely personal, Extraordinary Circumstances is a wake-up call to corporate leaders and an intimate glimpse at a scandal that shook the business world.

 

About Cynthia Cooper

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Cynthia Cooper was one of Time's 2002 Persons of the Year. She was the vice president of internal audit for WorldCom and subsequently MCI. Cynthia was featured as one of twenty-five influential working mothers in Working Mother magazine, and earned the distinction of being the first woman to receive the AAA Accounting Exemplar Award and to be inducted into the AICPA Business & Industry Hall of Fame. She resigned from MCI in 2004, following the company's successful emergence from bankruptcy, and now shares the lessons she has learned through her experiences with professionals and students. She and her husband Lance reside in Mississippi with their two daughters.
 
Published June 3, 2010 by Wiley. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Extraordinary Circumstances

Publishers Weekly

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In Cooper's thorough and efficient narrative about the fantastic collapse of telecommunications giant WorldCom there are two distinct themes: her insider's view of the corporation's widespread wrongdoing and the life experiences that led Cooper to becoming a courageous whistleblower.

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BC Books

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However, as Cooper notes, “[n]either the fraud nor the discovery of the fraud caused the downfall of WorldCom … Deregulation, Internet mania, conflicts of interest, delusions of quick riches, and low interest rates created the perfect storm.” She was just there as the ship went down.

Feb 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Extraordinary Circumstances: ...

Red Room

She does so not out of any crusading energy, but because it's her job, and she's passionate about her job and what she does, as is her team.

Apr 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Extraordinary Circumstances: ...

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