Talk:David M. Cote

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Last line of Article[edit]

The Last line is incorrect. David Cote began working for GE while in school. He continued working for them post graduation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Working on updating David M. Cote Bio[edit]

The David M. Cote bio is outdated. I am disclosing my conflict of interest with this particular Wikipedia bio. I will prepare a draft and put it in my sandbox. The intent is to adhere to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. I look forward to your input and suggestions.

Presto808 (talk) 19:43, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Updating Cote's Biography[edit]

The information presented in this biography is both outdated and needs additional citations. I am disclosing my conflict of interest in working on this page, and will present my Wikipedia-compliant draft in my sandbox. Please feel free to contact me with any relevant information or concerns. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:03, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

We can't just substitute your draft (which I have seen) for the article so I would suggest that given the COI you start to suggest changes to the existing article here rather than work further on the draft. Philafrenzy (talk) 12:38, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi Philafrenzy, thanks for your comment (and your edits to the article). I'm relatively new to the Wikipedia community, but even with my limited understanding of COI policy, I wouldn't ever try to outright replace an existing article with my own version. My hope in creating this draft was to present the community with a readable version of the research I'd done, so that other editors would be able to use or recycle the information I presented to publish in the actual article. That said, did you have any particular problems with my draft? When I posed the question, I really wanted to collaborate with the community on this article, especially since activity on this page had crawled to a near halt. I'm not sure what other avenues I should have pursued given that edits to the article were few and far between. Regardless, I'd appreciate any feedback you have for me regarding my draft, as I'd like to see some of the community-approved content added if possible. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 19:46, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't have time to study your draft in great detail. I didn't think you would try to replace the article with your draft, I was merely pointing out that working further on it may not be very productive from your point of view as it can never replace the existing article wholesale. My advice given the COI is to post on this page the changes that you would like to see in the article and try to obtain consensus for their inclusion in the article. I realise that sounds a bit of a slow process but that is the correct procedure and I don't think the current article is in urgent need of correction? Are you being paid (even indirectly) to work on this matter? Philafrenzy (talk) 21:09, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll admit, I was initially put off by your comment and thought that you were just coming after me with no feedback for my draft, but I can see that's not the case. I am being paid to work on this article, and as such I don't mind if it takes a while if that's what it takes to follow protocol. It's more important to me to go through the proper channels than to publish quickly; I had grown frustrated seeing the low level of activity on the article. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:39, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
OK. Philafrenzy (talk) 22:25, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Here is a link to the draft in my sandbox. I think that the whole article can be expanded, especially the "Early life" and "Career" sections. I've written a bunch of additional content in my draft, and cited references for those additions. Please feel free to use and/or publish any of the information that I've presented. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 22:45, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Does the content I've proposed follow the 5 pillars and NPOV? FacultiesIntact (talk) 18:46, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Wrong question I was invited here randomly by a bot. It doesn't much matter whether your version is policy-compliant if it's not an improvement over what is there already. I recommend you not propose wholesale replacement of the article but take it part by part here on the talk page and discuss the benefits of your version. Propose incremental improvements to individual sentences or paragraphs and see where it goes. Have faith in, and enjoy, the process. Jojalozzo (talk) 04:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Jojalozzo. Graft your draft into the article piecemeal. By adding facts and references incrementally, you make the edit history much easier to follow and question (and given your forthrightness, I expect most questions will be answered by your references). Xaxafrad (talk) 05:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Given the COI, I highly recommend proposing your changes here before edting the article. Jojalozzo (talk) 20:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Why this flurry of comments? All of this has already been discussed on this page. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:19, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps I haven't been communicating clearly enough. I have no intention of editing the article myself, given my COI. All I'm trying to do is gain some consensus about the content I've drafted so that I can submit it for an edit request. Next to none of the original article has been removed, and where it has was in service of improving the copy. I honestly didn't think I was asking much for someone to actually read it; there's maybe a page or two of total additions. I feel like I'm being dismissed for being new or having COI, but if I'm overstepping my bounds, I'm sorry. I'd be happy to break down my proposed edits section by section if that's what's going to get results, but I've been under the impression that what I've been asking for isn't that out of the ordinary. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 06:38, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Here's a link to a diff with the proposed changes. I thought it would help with discussion. Xaxafrad (talk) 07:27, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
@XaXaFrad: Why post a link to the diff if you agree that FacultiesIntact post incremental edits on the talk page? What's to discuss? Jojalozzo (talk) 03:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Because it shows starkly and simply the changes FaculitiesIntact is proposing. The changes are too complex and spread out to bring in wholesale, but just by examing the diff, I could imagine a series of proposed changes to transform the current article into the sandbox draft. Plus, after reading repeated references to these "changes", I wanted to see them for myself. Xaxafrad (talk) 05:21, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
@XaXafrad: Thank you for creating the diff so people can track the changes, as well as staying on topic for this RfC. Did you happen to read my draft, or just look at the diff? I'm proposing expansions to the "Early life", "Career", and "Public service" sections, as well as dividing "Career" into subsections for each of his major places of employment. My concern is that on a diff, reorganization seems like a much more drastic change even when text remains intact. I'd appreciate it if we could stay on topic, and instead of using all this time and energy debating the process, attempt to discuss this RfC. --FacultiesIntact (talk) 07:37, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
@Philafrenzy: I was invited here by a bot to comment on FacultiesIntact's RFC which does not appear to be constructive. I then responded to XaXaFrad's suggestion that FacultiesIntact post edits in the article rather than discuss them here first. Jojalozzo (talk) 03:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

In case anyone would actually like to discuss my proposed edits, I've summarized them by section:

  1. Update infobox with correct birthdate and more detail. Change total compensation to yearly base salary.
  2. In the lede: Remove "chief executive officer" and just leave "CEO"
  3. In "Early life": Expand on his childhood, including his family and early interest in finance. Elaborate on his life in between graduating from Pembroke and eventually from UNH, before joining General Electric.
  4. In "Career": Break into separate subsections for each of his places of employment, and expand accordingly, highlighting his current high-profile work as the CEO of Honeywell.
  5. In "Public service": Rename section "Political affiliations and special appointments" and provide greater detail about the debt panel.
  6. Create "Board of directors and other roles" section and move information about his membership on the Business Council here. Include his position as Chairman on the Energy & Environment Committee of the Business Roundtable.
  7. Create "Merits, awards, and honorary degrees" section to include his various recognitions.
  8. Create "Past roles" section to clearly present his titles from throughout his career.

I'm open to discuss the merits of these edits and happy to make changes accordingly. FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

  • I'm fine with all of that, except you should leave the "total compensation". The much lower "base salary" number would be misleading. Edwardx (talk) 00:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I was asked to coment. I do not agree with Edwards, and I am fine with almost none of this. (for convenience I changed your bullet points above to numbers) Detaiks:
  1. List both the total compensation and the base salary, but " 3 children" is better--details about how many from each marriage belong in the article. Barrons is a suitable source for the birthdate. When it's discussed in the body of the article, is there any published criticism of it?
  2. CEO is fine. Everyone understands it.
  3. The emphasis of the low economic status of his parents is excessive -- for example, "Cote's father, worked 12-hour days, six days a week, operating an automobile service station" should read just "his father ran an automobile service station." and the low wages of a schoolchild job is irrelevant. The Horatio Alger approach belongs in the e19th century. That he went around town paying family bills is not an interest in finance, as his mother i retrospect seems to have seen it, but just his willingness to run errands.
  4. Breaking up the career is fine. Writing the TRW section as lone sentence paragraphs is not. As for details: (a) For Honnnywell, "Cote directed the company to identify 12 measurable behaviors, which include customer focus, self-awareness, teamwork and diversity, integrative thinking and championing change" is jargon. Just give the results. (b) If "Cote has been reported to forego the traditional executive suit and tie. ", why do the 3 pictures show otherwise? (c) "In the period of 2008-2009, Cote faced a difficult decision to restructure the company's workforce. " is wordy; it should read "In the 2008-2009 recession, Cole institute furloughs instead of laying off workers ...." (d) also wordy: "He also led divestures of 60 business units" Most of the time "also" is used here, it's better omitted. (e)"As a result, profit margins have increased in part the reduction of administrative costs." presumably means "due to the reduction..." but in what part, based upon what data? (f)As a matter of style, we do not use the TM symbol. "Cote is credited for the creation of Functional Transformation " He actually created it, or he asked for it to redeveloped, and how does the firm's name for it make it any different what what everyone else does. (g) Ditto with Velocity Product Development. (h)"Cote instituted conservative accounting to streamline costs.: every firm in principle uses conservative account and streamlines costs ion (i) " In an effort to reduce the unpredictable asbestos-plus-environmental expense,..." It didn't reduce costs, it spread them out evenly over time.
  5. "Public service is a better heading" . All leading executives have an appointment to some commission or other--it isn't "special" The other people on the forum, etc. is name dropping and not appropriate.
  6. "Board of Director and Other roles should be "other roles" or "Outside roles"
  7. The headings for awards etc. should be Awards, or Honors. Section headings should be as brief as possible. Not all the awards are clearly important:L american Australian Association awards has no obvious relevance--and seems a dead link, so I can't see what it's for. I can't see why TechAmerica is important, as we have no article for it. Perhaps we should have. The quotation from his commencement speech is the usual trite commencement rhetoric, and does not add to the article.
  8. "Past roles" does no go at then end. The jobs go in his bio section, in chronological order. Using chronological order is an encyclopedic technique, putting parts of the bio at the end is a PR technique. The other board membership go with the current ones.

Additionally. The three pictures show the same thing: him at a formal event. It's appropriative to have more than one picture, but they should add something. The picture with Obama is inappropriate, if only because he's barely visible. It's just name dropping.

In summary, the proposed bio looks like what it is: a bio written by a PR firm. True, we have worse. We should have better. DGG ( talk ) 01:14, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you DGG for putting in the hard work to provide a robust and detailed response. For what it's worth, I agree with all of your proposed changes. PR "spin" has infected our culture and we must be vigilant against it here on Wikipedia. Edwardx (talk) 08:37, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
@DGG: Thanks for taking the time to review my work. I sincerely appreciate it. If I may address your points:
  1. I agree. I will list total compensation alongside base salary; however, I'm unclear what you mean about criticism in the article. Would you mind clarifying? As far as I'm aware, there is no criticism regarding his compensation, salary, children, or marriages.
  2. We agree.
  3. I see what you mean about the Alger approach (although I do find it hilarious that Cote won the Horatio Alger award). My intent was not to paint Cote as a rags-to-riches story, but rather to provide the context that he has been a hard worker from an early age. The Barron's article begins with a similar story about his work ethic. It also provides the detail about his father working long days, which I thought characterized Cote's childhood as being raised primarily by his mother. The Fortune article stated that Cote's "aptitude for numbers emerged early," but perhaps this would be better described as demonstrating his (financial?) responsibility at an early age. I will rewrite this and try to clear it up.
  4. Good suggestion on the TRW section. To point (a), I meant to explain just what Cote did in unifying company culture. The company was in complete disarray post-merger. Per the Fortune article "the feuding red, blue, and Pittway camps all bristled at taking direction from a new CEO. 'I held a town hall meeting in Brussels for the heads of the businesses in Europe,' says Cote, 'and about one-third of the people I’d invited didn’t show up.'" That said, do you think it should still be removed? I'm open to replacing it with the results, even with the added clarification. To point (b), the three pictures presented were already displayed in the article. The information about his attire was pulled from the Fortune article, but I am requesting a picture of him to publish with the article. Points (c) and (d) are simple copyedits that I can make. Regarding (e), I can look for more data. Currently I'm citing the rising stock price, but I'm curious to hear what others have to say. I agree with points (f) and (g) and can rewrite them more plainly. To point (h): I think I disagree with you here. What companies do in principle and in reality aren't always the same. I agree with you about point (i). I should have specified that he reduced the unpredicability of the expenses, not the expenses themselves.
  5. Will rename.
  6. Will rename.
  7. Will rename. However, I don't know how or why we would discriminate against which awards are worthy of mentioning. I found references for the Australian American Association Award and the TechAmerica Award.
  8. You're right about the past roles section. I can move past his GE roles and JPMorgan position into the “Career” section and his position on Business Council into the “Other Roles” section. Regarding the photo with Obama, I'm going to request more relevant photos to this BLP from Honeywell.

Again, thank you for your comments. I really am striving to learn how to do all of this properly, from the process to the actual writing of articles. Without the help of editors like yourself, it would be much much more difficult. FacultiesIntact (talk) 18:10, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I greatly respect you honest efforts to gel pyrite a better article. To clarify a few points,

  1. Most corporate presidents receiving such large amounts of compensation in a single year have been the subject of some degree of negative criticism about it. Without making any judgments about the validity of such criticism for someone who is in this particular case a leader of a very successful company, there is probably something to be found.
  2. tho we usually do not go into great entail, it is possible that the information about just how he reorganized the company is both interesting and relevant. For established companies, such information is often discussed--sometimes many years after the fact-- by objective scholars in works about the firm, and this sort of material is usable. What the person says himself about what he did can not of course be taken at face value, ashy more than my own account or your own account of my our own accomplishments in our careers could be taken at face value. but needs interpretation of this party competent sources. . One approach to this is to include un the text something thin He discussed his work in reorganization in an interview (and give the reference--people can then follow it up and us their own judgements . WP is best seen as a guide to further references; our role is to make sure the references are there.)

I think you;re doing fine. Just go ahead as you are planning. DGG

I was invited here by Legobot to comment. When I read the sandbox draft, I see a version riddled with promotional anecdotes that seem designed to paint the subject in a favorable light. All that poor childhood stuff is really excessive. Quoting his mom? He supposedly dresses casually but the photos show him in a business suit. He's a Republican who is buddies with Obama. It is all too much for my taste, and doesn't seem neutral at all to me. Cullen328

I went ahead and made edits to my original draft in line with the suggestions made by Edwardx, DGG, and Cullen328. I also updated the compensation section with a table breaking down Cote's compensation structure for the last 5 years, as reported by Honeywell in their filings with the SEC, as there were conflicting reports between news outlets. Could any of you kind Wikipedians spare a minute and take a look at my changes? I'm still learning the ropes around here, but I'm hopeful that this is a clear step in the right direction. FacultiesIntact (talk) 23:41, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

I was requested to take another look, and clarified one sentence. I have one remaining suggestion: the 2nd photo adds nothing. (the third does;t add much, but it's a good idea to have an informal picture and well as a formal one) DGG ( talk ) 22:47, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

This is a lot better than the original version. That said, I still see a lot of spin (keeping in mind that everything I say is my personal opinion and analysis, other editors may disagree, etc). Some examples:

  • The Leadership style section is mostly about particular decisions he's made, not his style. It places emphasis on his reasons for taking particular actions, rather than the actions themselves (this is a trend throughout the draft), and constructs a narrative where Cote joined a company in a terrible position and perhaps singlehandedly turned it around. If that's the case, especially the attribution of this or parts thereof to Cote, then it needs to be stated and sourced directly. The section shouldn't read like a story.
  • Word choice should be checked for neutrality, e.g. "one of several" is changed to "one of the few" in the draft, implying exclusivity; likewise addition of "tête-à-tête" in that sentence. Some overuse of "leader"/"lead"/"led"/etc. Other unencyclopedic language, e.g. "After not finding the success they had hoped for" should be something more straightforward like "When the business was unsuccessful," assuming that's a true statement. Similar ideas for "took a break," "talked his way into," "has been vocal about," "under siege," etc - such language may be useful if it's the exact terminology from the source, but consider using quotes if that's the case.
  • Trivia, e.g. why is Vernon Jordan's opinion of Cote important enough to include in a biography? What important aspect of the article content does the Haiti picture illustrate? I would apply the same to the five-year compensation table.
  • The one statement which I was curious about and decided to specifically verify, "an original member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt", was not in the source.
  • For the awards list, my own rule of thumb would be not to include any award that has not been reported on by a source which is independent of both Cote and the award-giver.

--Sunrise (talk) 23:03, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

FacultiesIntact draft[edit]

FacultiesIntact has taken the correct approach in disclosing his conflict of interest and is to be congratulated for patiently engaging with the community over this article. The fact remains, however, that he is in the pay of the subject of the article and I think we are in danger of forgetting this.

FacultiesIntact has continued to polish his draft in userspace, I assume because David Cote continues to pay him to do so, but he must be aware that he cannot expect to substitute that page for our article. Could FacultiesIntact confirm that he still understands that? Philafrenzy (talk) 21:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I agree - both with the congratulations and that the page cannot simply be substituted (FI, this will be true for the other pages you're working on as well). I do think it is reasonable to use statements or sections from a draft, especially when there is no corresponding content that would be replaced, so it can still be a useful approach. I would suggest that any material that is removed from the article (through replacement or not) needs to be specifically shown to be inaccurate, out of date, or otherwise in violation of Wikipedia's policies. Sunrise (talk) 23:46, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
That is exactly right. For what it's worth, I would think that the drafts enable FI to say to his paymasters "Look, I put what you asked for on Wikipedia". I might be wrong. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:52, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I am personally very skeptical about paid editing, and have deleted thousands of articles by declared and undeclared paid editors. I have never yet known a paid editor who did as well in working for pay as they do when working for their own interests. In my opinion, the best thing to do for a company or an individual dealing with an unsatisfactory page is to ask for help at OTRS, and I've given help there numerous times when I thought it justified (and advised staying away altogether even more frequently).
Nonetheless, all editors are equal, at least when they edit according to the Terms of Use, and it not right to deliberately slant an article against a subject using a paid editor, or to refuse to make corrections because they come from a paid editor, and I personally think the comment just above is exactly the wrong thing to do or say.
True, most articles on corporate or nonprofit executives (and many other people) here are primarily PR pieces for the individual, and biased towards them. The remedy is not to write articles biased the other direction, but to write neutral articles.
My views on politics are my own affair, but I think I have said enough here in various places to make it clear I am very far from an apologist for American capitalism. Still, it is unfair to use a biography of an individual--even the chief executive of a company--for an attack on the company, and even more so to use the bio of a person very prominent in what I still call the military-industrial complex for an attack on that complex.
We have very often been known to merge two drafts of an article. This can be done in various ways. One of them does include overwriting the existing material, and I've done that a number of times when the proposed new article is greatly improved. I have even sometimes not just replaced but deleted the entire pre-existing article as prejudiced or promotional and substituted another article. But I doubt that will be necessary here. I think a merge might be sufficient, either a formal merge, but there are problems with the overlapping dates, or possibly a rewriting based on some of that text. (Attribution is always a problem with how to do this right).
Before I consider what needs to be added, I'm going to consider what needs to be removed or changed. I first rearranged the section on politician contributions. I need to do some more rewording: the NYT article is not about Cote; it discusses the position of an organization, & mentions him in one paragraph. The material quoted is a quotation in the article without specific source from a particular individual, Kevin Connor. The quotation, (can anyone find the actual place where Kevin Connor said it, so we can see the context?) seems general, though it certainly is relevant to Honeywell to a considerable extent, and therefore to Cote, but not to the extent the WP article uses it. The clearest presentation of Cote's role in that organization & his economic views that I can find is in this article from the Manchester Union Leader. It would be a good reference, as it explicitly gives his views. Another good reference for his views is his House Committee on Financial Services testimony.
Fix the Debt, btw, is an organization about which we badly need an article. that might be a good place for more general discussion of its views, and very fair, because its economic views are what the organization is all about. More tomorrow. DGG ( talk ) 04:54, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
For myself, I hope that none of my own comments are taken as an attempt to slant the article against the subject! I know that part was not directed to me, but it discourages me when a longtime editor feels that they have to justify their neutrality as you did, outside of dispute resolution procedures; it makes me feel like I might have forgotten AGF at some point. FWIW, before I came to this page via ANRFC, I'd never heard of Cote (or Honeywell, or Fix the Debt - I'm only vaguely aware that there was a debt panel). Looking back, I don't think my comments are unduly colored by who proposed it; I definitely scrutinize content more closely if it comes from a paid editor, but I think that much is warranted.
In this case, I do think parts of the proposal seem unprofessional or unencylopedic - not worse than many other articles, of course, but not edits I would make myself. For example, I pointed out the focus on reasoning rather on actions in the Leadership style section - this is a rhetorical technique that encourages the reader to empathize more with the subject, and in my opinion encyclopedic content should not be worded that way. On the other hand, just looking briefly at the changes over the last couple of days, I definitely think the new donations/lobbying section has some problems, e.g. I don't think the rise in Honeywell's donations (including the graph) should be in the article unless there is a source that attributes this rise to Cote.
About substitution, I don't think it's a good idea unless it's unambiguously an improvement (I think we agree on this), but I think that after some adjustment a merge would be fine for most of the content in the draft. Speaking generally, my thought is that all sorts of articles have content that introduces inadvertent bias, through word choice, tone, sentence positioning, etc - but this is both positive or negative, and it can balance out. On the other hand, proposals from paid editors tend to do a very good job of removing the negative bias but leave some of the positive bias. (Should that be considered an improvement? I'm undecided.) Sunrise (talk) 06:31, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Let's remember what's really going on here. FacultiesIntact is being paid to produce a Wikipedia article that is flattering to David Cote. I don't propose that we should push back with negative coverage of the man, I have nothing whatsoever against him and had not heard of him until FI began to mass-post messages on user pages asking for help with the article. Nor do I have any ideological slant against American business or businessmen. Our article should remain completely neutral. But let's not be naive please. David Cote has authorised the spending of millions of dollars on lobbying. It is self-evident from the sources that he has learned that if you spend money you can influence the result of the discussion. I think it is also self-evident that that is what is happening here. We don't have to fall for it. Philafrenzy (talk) 11:01, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I have started to integrate some of the more neutral parts of the draft into the article. It's not easy, which is one reason why such a highly developed draft is a bad idea. Philafrenzy (talk) 13:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi Philafrenzy, in the beginning of January, you mentioned you didn’t have time to work on the David M. Cote BLP. Since it seems you now have the time, I would appreciate the chance to directly collaborate with you on this article and demonstrate that my actions have been and will be in good faith. My aim here has always been to collaborate with community members, with the intent of reaching a consensus on a NPOV BLP of David M. Cote, so that I might submit an edit request per WP:EDITREQ. As I have a COI, which I disclosed at the onset, this seemed to be the appropriate way to proceed. Regardless of my COI, the original article was sufficiently incomplete and deficient of encyclopedic biographical content. The very nature of my conflict of interest necessitates feedback from the community about changes to the article, and my requests at every turn have been to collaborate with the community to provide the best content possible and reach consensus. FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:23, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
That's fine. My advice is, and always has been, to suggest edits here rather than endlessly polishing the draft. My interest in Mr Cote and time remain limited but there is no reason why your suggestions shouldn't be incorporated into the article by me or someone else as long as they are verifiable, neutral and usefully extend the article. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:37, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Philafrenzy, and others, I really doubt that Cote has authorized spending millions of dollars on this article. Nor are we primarily concerned with whatever he may be trying to do; we are concerned with provided an informative and unbiased presentation for the readers who may wish to know something about him. Asides from the fairness we own any BLP subject, we are concerned with not what the subject wishes to say, but with what threader wishes to know. The article has to be judged the same no matter who contributes to it, and all suggestions considered on the merits. Emphasising the possible COI aspects is sometimes essential, but can come to the point where it is `` not necessarily helpful.
I do not think it rational for anyone to think that by spending money they "can influence the results of our discussions." They can cause us to have an article that we might not others haven , they can provide material to supplement an existing article; they can raise points that have been neglected--and all of these things can sometimes be helpful and sometimes not. Certainly I can say they often are not, but I don't in fact think this is the case here.
I can certainly understand that the coi editor is frustrated in the failure of people here to completely agree--but disagreements of this sort are not unusual. We usually resolve them by consensus. But no one person has authority here, and it is generally not practical to work with a particular individual to get change when others may disagree,. This is in some sense not a satisfactory solution, but that is hardly unusual at Wikipedia. At some point, the best suggestion to a COI editor is to provide material, and then leave the article alone. DGG ( talk ) 05:19, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
DGG, you may have misunderstood my comments. What I said was "David Cote has authorised the spending of millions of dollars on lobbying" and "he has learned that if you spend money you can influence the result of the discussion." I was referring to lobbying generally and by "discussion" I meant the political discussion about spending in the U.S. government, not this talk page. However, it is clear that the really very persistent efforts of FI to get the results he is being paid to achieve for Mr Cote are in fact a small part of that lobbying effort.
You will note that FI never gets angry, never gives up, and shows little interest in other topics outside the Honeywell group. If he can't achieve results in one way he tries another (see the post on CaroleHenson's talk page for instance). Accuse me of cynicism if you like, but FI's activities are typical lobbying/PR behaviour. FI has been told numerous times how to progress the article but refuses to act on them. We should AGF but that does not mean being either credulous or naive. To be honest, at this point I think that FI is wasting the time of a lot of people who unlike him are not getting paid for their work. This long debate is just one example of that. Philafrenzy (talk) 10:15, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

New updates[edit]

I've been working on improving the article again, incorporating Philafrenzy's edits from the past several months. Would someone be available to review the updated sandbox? Any thoughts that some content could be more beneficial on the Honeywell International Wikipedia article? Does anyone else agree that the content here is a biography and directly related to decisions by David Cote rather than content that could be inferred?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 16:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

FI, you are still going about this the wrong way. My advice is to add to this page the change you would like to make in the form of "I think X should be changed to Y and the reason is Z". Philafrenzy (talk) 06:57, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for offering more advice. My intent was to foster discussion about improving the article as it has been awhile since changes have been discussed. Below, I’ve taken some time to respond with specific changes per your advice:
  1. I think the second paragraph from "Political donations and lobbying" would be better suited for Honeywell, as it’s only marginally related to Cote. These are not his personal political donations being described; the money comes from company coffers. Similarly, I think the third paragraph from "Deficit reduction" should be removed as it's speculative, and language like "interpreted by some" doesn't feel to be compliant with NPOV. If this content belongs anywhere, I think it would be on Honeywell. While Cote is the CEO, his actions and the company's are not synonymous.
  2. I think the last line of the lede about his time at JP Morgan could be removed, as it's mentioned in context in "Banking appointments."
  3. I think Cote's meeting with Jack Welch should be mentioned in "Career" as Cote was a candidate to succeed Welch at GE. [1]
  4. The "Honeywell" subsection could use more context about his appointment rather than reiterate his compensation, which is listed in the infobox.
  5. Finally, I think "Awards" could be revisited, and some awards added. Of all the awards initially listed (and referenced) what is significant about Chief Executive Magazine that makes it worth mentioning over the others?
I'm open to discuss the merits of these changes, and any potential others, and I'm happy to collaborate with other editors on improving this article.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 08:21, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I will comment in turn.

  1. I can't agree that the second part of that section is related to Honeywell not Cote. That is a fiction. There is a massive increase in donations since he joined the company. Who are Honeywell acting on the instructions of if not Cote? He's in charge isn't he? On deficit reduction I renamed the section to make it clear that it is about Cote's views on the subject, about which he has been voluble. Given his appointment to the debt panel, his views are certainly relevant to the article. The third para is half made up of quotes by Cote and the other opinions are there to provide outside perspective and balance. I think by "doesn't feel to be compliant with NPOV", you really just mean that the content is not to your liking. Cote has clearly gone to great lengths to give himself a profile in Washington, has accepted appointments to government sponsored bodies and spoken at length on debt reduction to the media. That is not Honeywell acting, that is David Cote acting.
  2. The opening paragraph should summarise the content of the article. That seems one of the more important elements of his career and so should be in. The lead in this article is actually too short.
  3. I will see what I can do about this.
  4. Agreed, but it's OK to mention info like pay in an info box and in the body of the article. In fact it's required.
  5. I agree the awards could be longer but I would add that they are not very interesting to the reader and so should be as few as possible.

Philafrenzy (talk) 21:48, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I appreciate the perspective you bring to this discussion. Let’s take this a piece at a time. I think where we disagree on point 1 merits discussion. The section renamed “Political Appointments and political donations” signals to the reader the content is related to David Cote’s appointed roles and his personal political donations. Can we agree those appointed roles are directly relevant to Cote’s personal life? “Political donations” misleads the reader. Honeywell International’s political donations vis a vis the corporation’s political action committee is specific to the corporation. These are not specific to David Cote (the person). “He’s in charge isn’t he?” is a misunderstanding of his role as CEO of the corporation. Cote’s leadership and executive functions are held responsible by Honeywell’s board of directors. Readers may be better served to know about Honeywell’s political donations in a section about the company’s lobbying and political activities rather than misplaced in David Cote’s biography. If there are highly reliable sources to support David Cote’s personal political donations, that data is relevant in his Wikipedia biography.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 05:55, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

A third opinion has been requested. There appear to be multiple questions, which is somewhat beyond the usual scope of third opinion. Is the third opinion being asked on one question, or on multiple questions? If there are multiple issues, then it might be appropriate to request formal mediation. If there is one question, please state it without asking other questions. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:41, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

My apologies. I can see how the initial request was unclear. I was referring to the dispute outlined in point 1, as to whether the political donations of Honeywell can/should be attributed to Cote, as well as whether that information is more suited to his biography or Honeywell's history.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 00:04, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

You refer to this I think: "Cote's personal political donations have been modest, but since his tenure at Honeywell began in 2002, the company's donations via its Political Action Committee have risen sharply from $212,112 in 2002 to $7,879,570 in 2014, making the firm one of the largest corporate donors in the United States." I don't see how the matter could be dealt with more briefly. Philafrenzy (talk) 00:24, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Searchtool-80%.png Response to Third Opinion Request:
Disclaimers: I am responding to a third opinion request made at WP:3O. I have made no previous edits on David M. Cote and cannot recall any prior interaction with the editors involved in this discussion which might bias my response. The third opinion process (FAQ) is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes. Third opinions are not tiebreakers and should not be "counted" in determining whether or not consensus has been reached. My personal standards for issuing third opinions can be viewed here. One particularly wise Third Opinion Wikipedian, RegentsPark, once succinctly put the purpose of Third Opinions like this, "It's sort of like if you're having an argument on the street in front of City Hall and turn to a passer-by to ask 'hey, is it true that the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale?'."

Opinion: The material about Honeywell's political contributions (i.e. that quoted in Philafenzy's 00:24, 15 July 2015 (UTC) edit, just above) is inappropriate as a violation of the Synthesis section of the No Original Research policy, which says, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." (Emphasis added.) This edit combines the fact that he was CEO of Honeywell during the period of increase in contributions, from one source, with the fact that they increased, from another, to imply that he was responsible for the increase. A reliable source needs to be found which specifically says, in so many words, that he was responsible before this material can be included here. While the size of the increase certainly appears to make it very likely that he was responsible, Wikipedia does not deal in probabilities or likelihoods or other analysis of data and there are certainly various credible possibilities in which he would not have been directly personally responsible for the increase. Adjudging and analyzing possibilities to come to conclusions not expressly stated in reliable sources is exactly what is prohibited by the No Original Research policy and, in the case of contentious representations about living persons such as this, even more strongly prohibited by the BLPREMOVE section of the Biographies of Living Persons Policy.

What's next: Once you've considered this opinion click here to see what happens next.—TransporterMan (TALK) 19:24, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your opinion, TransporterMan. Philafrenzy, do you agree with this assessment? How would you like to progress from here?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 23:18, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Comment dropping in here informally, a/ if used at all, the sentence should not start with "However" or an equivalent--it implies a direct relationship which is not proven. b/ regardless of whether or not the sentence goes in, the graph should not. Adding the visual is unnecessary emphasis for a point which is or borderline relevance in the first place. c/their amount went up--I would suppose other companies did also? this is necessary context, if used. d/ though the President of a company presumably has an influence in political contributions, he's not solely responsible. The ultimate responsibility for company policy is the board of directors, & I cannot imagine a major company doing such contributions without their involvement. DGG ( talk ) 05:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I was asked to look at it again. I have made the changes Iconsider necessart make the changes I consider necessary. DGG ( talk ) 05:10, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Updating career[edit]

Can the Career section be updated to read as it does here? I've added more context throughout Cote's career and provided references. I also updated his compensation at Honeywell to be up to date, and removed the dead link.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 00:25, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

No, as that is spam. Joseph2302 (talk) 20:54, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

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Consolidating appointments[edit]

I think the flow of the article could be greatly and easily improved by combining the three different appointments sections and nesting each one as a subsection under that header. Additionally, I think the the last line of the Government appointments and political donations section should be removed or migrated to Honeywell. It is misleading to suggest that these are his political donations when they are those of the company he leads. The company does not act as his personal bank.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 22:55, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

I consolidated the sections and I just removed the line about political donations. It was completely irrelevant to this article and should have never been put here. I don't even think it belongs in the company article unless they can find a source that actually describes it as important, rather than just linking to OpenSecrets. Doing the latter makes it really feel like POV pushing. SilverserenC 18:51, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Request for collaboration[edit]

@Philafrenzy:, I appreciate the work you’ve done on the BLP, even if I don’t agree with all of it. That said, I think we can both agree that your reverting the unsupported edits by WHetzenauer was a positive decision. It’s been almost two years since we’ve become acquainted here. Since then other Wikipedians collaborated with us on this BLP. I’ve continued to present content from verifiable and reliable third-party references. My approaching Wikipedians who assume my good faith is in the interest of having civil conversation (and debate) on the content (from the sandbox) that is material to this man’s life story. I’d be happy to collaborate with you as well if you’ll extend that same courtesy.

As it stands, I feel like this biography is still rather deficient of content. Rather than remove the things you’ve added, I’d like to propose revisiting potential additions to David Cote’s BLP. When compared to an article such as Larry Page’s, Cote’s falls short in the level of detail about his family in his early life, as well as his career, including what he actually accomplished as a CEO. I think the inclusion of these details, alongside the criticism would provide balance through context. Can we give this another review, together?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 00:52, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

What is the current proposal for changes? Jytdog (talk) 17:28, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: I think both the "Early life" section and "General Electric" and "Honeywell" subsections of his career are worth expanding. Both sections are rather sparse, especially in comparison to the rest of the article. I've drafted up what I believe to be worthy additions here and here, focused on providing more details about his life, and some of the specifics that he accomplished while CEO of Honeywell. I'm open to feedback on all of the changes I'm proposing.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 23:48, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I went ahead and made changes to both sections. Everything checked out on the Early life section, but I reworded content about Welch - that I hope is a clarification - and made edits based upon the GE employment information that I was able to verify from the Fortune article. I saved a copy of the modified text to your sandbox so you can view this comparison. You can revert back to your early version - and if you'd like, find sources for the content I could not find in the Fortune article.
If I missed something in the Fortune article, or if you have edits for the rewording I made, please let me know.--CaroleHenson (talk) 23:09, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I updated the diff. I missed an edit.--CaroleHenson (talk) 23:13, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
This is copied from my talk page for continuity of discussion here: Thanks for taking a look! I really appreciate the help. I went through your edits to my sandbox and found the appropriate sources for the relevant information, and updated my sandbox accordingly. The information actually came from Machan's article from Barron's, and not the Fortune article, so thanks for catching that. Would you mind taking a look at the General Electric section again, as well as my proposed changes to the Honeywell section?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 23:13, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
The addition to the GE section is done now. Looks good! Sorry I missed Honeywell the first pass.
  • Regarding Honeywell, the first sentence in the second paragraph has a citation that is undefined. Do you have a source for that, perhaps in an earlier draft on your user page?
  • And, that sentence is worded The year Cote took office, Honeywell lost $220 million that year. Perhaps "that year" could be removed from the end of the sentence, or reword the sentence like: "Honeywell lost $220 million the year that Cote took office."
  • The next sentence has a dead link. Using this link, I found that a url that led to a saved version of the article. You can add |archiveurl= | archivedate=October 29, 2015 to the citation to fix this issue. Do you mind checking the rest of the citations and ensure they all work?
  • When I look at COI requests, I look at how different is the wording (in approach) from what I would write. There are two sentences "Cote led..." and "Cote and his executive team instituted". It is assumed that major changes in a company are due to leadership's direction. This sounds more like a resume and less like an encyclopedia article. I suggest rewording these sentences a bit.--CaroleHenson (talk) 02:08, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
@CaroleHenson: Thanks for taking the time to review everything!
  • I fixed the undefined citation. It was referring to a duplicate ref for the Fortune article that got deleted.
  • I also went through and double-checked the remaining references, including the dead link. They should all be working now.
  • In response to your point regarding the loaded language, I was trying to maintain Cote as the subject of the section and avoid using the passive voice, but once you pointed it out to me, I can see how it looks "fluffy". I changed the subject to Honeywell, and I think it reads much better now.
Could you take another peek?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:00, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • FacultiesIntact So far, it seems that the sources are checking out when comparing content to the cited source. I just have a few more to check out. If I see any issues I'll tag the source on your copy at User:FacultiesIntact/sandbox/David_M._Cote#Honeywell.
  • The Fortune citation (number 4) is a blog, rather than print copy, i.e., not or less likely to have gone through a formal editorial process that would do fact-checking, etc. Do you have another source or sources for the info? Or, is there a reason why you think that this blog meets reliable, independent sources that I may be missing?
Well, I was missing something. I double-checked and saw at the bottom of the page: "This story is from the May 21, 2012 issue of Fortune." Sorry about that.--—CaroleHenson(talk) 23:54, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Yep, your edits sound better and it seems to flow nicely. I have a couple of suggested edits - and one question - to run by you. I hope you don't mind if I make them to your draft. It seems faster than typing them out here, and you can always edit them.--—CaroleHenson(talk) 22:02, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Yikes! I totally forgot the history of this page - and after saving I saw my name from last year and then went to this archived post. (I saw that the request of November 30 was 2 weeks old when I was contacted and I know that there's a backlog in request edits, so I didn't read further.) If editors here, who are experienced with this subject and article content, have any comments about the changes made to the article here or the Honeywell request - please say so. At this point, I think I should just make my comments / edits to the Honeywell section of the draft as I mentioned and let this settle for a bit to see if there are any concerns before making any changes to the actual article. If there are any concerns about that approach, please say so.--—CaroleHenson(talk) 22:36, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── For continuity, there has been a discussion about the requested edits to the Honeywell section at User talk:FacultiesIntact/sandbox/David M. Cote, and I just applied the lasted version of the section from this version of the sandbox draft, with an update to one sentence that required rephrasing.—CaroleHenson(talk) 02:13, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

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Improving the lead, awards, and external links[edit]

After working with CaroleHenson and doing some more research, I made a few more edits in my sandbox, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on these proposed edits:

  1. I revised the lead to read more chronologically, as well as de-emphasize his position at Honeywell relative to the rest of his career. I included the success he's had with Honeywell to balance the shortcomings on the JPMorgan risk committee. I also edited the figure regarding JPM's losses during that period, as they were assessed to be closer to $6 billion, and not $2 billion. I also added references for all the material, as they're seemingly absent from the mainspace article.
  2. I found a link to his appearances on CNBC, which I think helps gives greater context to his role at Honeywell and his public positions on everything, both good and bad.
  3. The awards section holds only one entry, and so I tried to determine which awards were actually significant. I landed on the CEO magazine award (which is already on the article) and the Barron's 30 Best CEOs, as he has now been included for four years running, and the metric is based solely on shareholder returns, which I think is a fairly objective criterion. Additionally, he currently has only the one award in the section, and I think it would be worthwhile to list others.

Can anybody weigh in on these suggestions? I'm always open to feedback and further revision.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 01:55, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

These look fine to me. If no one objects in the next couple of days, ping me and I'll make the updates.—CaroleHenson(talk) 15:00, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
@CaroleHenson: It's been a week now with nothing. Would you be so kind?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 20:44, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
Sure, I have updated the intro, awards, and external links sections.—CaroleHenson(talk) 15:48, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

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Edit request[edit]

  • Please remove or migrate "Since his tenure at Honeywell began in 2002, the company's donations via its Political Action Committee have risen from $212,112 in 2002 to $7,879,570 in 2014.<ref name=opensec>[ 2014 PAC Summary Data, Honeywell International.] Retrieved 12 March 2015.</ref>" from Government and political donations, as it is POV content and more suitable for inclusion on Honeywell.
  • Please remove "They are spending millions, but they are protecting billions in defense contracts and tax giveaways that would otherwise be on the chopping block." from Attitude to deficit reduction as it gives WP:UNDUE weight to Connor's perspective.

--FacultiesIntact (talk) 01:50, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Reply 23-FEB-2018[edit]

 No action.

  1. "as it gives WP:UNDUE weight to Connor's perspective." The subheading from which this originates contains Cote's own quotes. Removing other quotes might seem to unbalance the section.
  2. "It is POV content and more suitable for inclusion on Honeywell." What is it about the Honeywell article in particular, which makes POV content more suitable for inclusion there. Please advise.
Regards, Spintendo      02:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response, Spintendo. Regarding your first point, I honestly think the inclusion of either quote skews the tone too much towards the personal. In fact, I think all of the quotes in the section should be removed. It could look like this (changes in bold), and I think this reads more clearly:
Proposed changes
Cote is a co-founder of Fix the Debt, a group of executives and former legislators who campaign for deficit reduction and tax reform. In a 2013 interview, Cote identified the problem of debt reduction in the United States as related to fear-based reactionary politics. He framed the options for deficit reduction in terms of either increases in taxes or a reduction in social security benefits.[1]

Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative, identified a possible conflict of interest between the broad objectives of the group and the reality of their day to day lobbying of Washington for favorable tax treatment of their own industries and continued government spending on programs that benefit their companies. He also pointed out that the group calls for a reduction in government spending on social security but not on defence spending, a major business area for Honeywell.[2]

In 2013, during negotiations over the Federal deficit during which some Republicans threatened a default, one lobbyist identified a new ideological faction within the Republican Party willing to stand up to business interests.[3] Cote attributed the problems in Washington to this faction, which interpreted as an implied threat that if the dissident Republicans did not co-operate, contributions from Honeywell's Political Action Committee could be cut.[4]

In March 2014, Cote presented his views on deficit reduction and American competitiveness to the House Committee on Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives.[5][third-party source needed]
Regarding your second comment, the inclusion of Honeywell's PAC donations paints Cote as solely and fully responsible for the decisions of both the company and the PAC. Per the 3O above, as well as the edit description here, the information is irrelevant, especially since these kinds of decisions are made by a Board of Directors. The donations are primarily about the company itself, and in my opinion much better suited for inclusion on Honeywell.
I'm always trying to be a better COI contributor, and I appreciate both your response any insight that you can provide. Thanks again!--FacultiesIntact (talk) 05:33, 27 February 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Honeywell CEO, a Manchester native, takes on deficit, Social Security crisis". Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader, 11 February 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Public Goals, Private Interests in Debt Campaign" Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times, 9 January 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P." Eric Lipton, et al., The New York Times, 9 October 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Unhappy with Dissident Republicans, Honeywell Could Make Them Feel the Pain" Russ Choma,, 10 October 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  5. ^ Testimony of David M. Cote Chairman and CEO Honeywell Before the House Committee on Financial Services United States House of Representatives Washington, DC March 25, 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015.

─────────────────────────Thank you for your reply. I'm assuming that your request is to place the text under proposed changes into the article's last two paragraphs to replace text there.... If you could remind me of what's being replaced again there that would help. It seems that the last two paragraphs are views on the economy. But it's my understanding that the subject is not really notable as being an economist, but is more notable for his work as a CEO. But there is no blanket ban on a subject's own views being quoted or mentioned in a subject's own article, so this might be okay. Let me check and I'll get back to you. Face-smile.svg  Spintendo      20:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

There has been discussions over adding items such as Fix the Debt earlier on the talk page. But there are also newer elements in the current request which haven't been addressed before. In looking at these current suggestions, it may be helpful to view how similar requests were handled in the past. TransporterMan made a point in a different 3O response that some of the entries (again, not related to what is being requested to be added now) were possibly using synthesis to arrive at their points, and they discussed how this should be avoided. Overall they urged caution not to allow prose which seems to suggest items of fact through implication. In the case of the current edit request it does carry a few straight claims of fact, but it also implies others. There is the claim that Cote "identified the problem of debt reduction in the United States as related to fear-based reactionary politics." Another part of the prose seems to link Cote with a lobbyist, having them both "identifying a new ideological faction within the Republican Party willing to stand up to business interests," while also having Cote "attributing the problems in Washington to this faction." The problem here with the current request is that actions like identifying and attributing are actions of the mind, and thus, are more difficult to reference. By mentioning these actions of the mind in concert with certain events, one implies that they have special insight into these events, thereby ascribing a level of heightened premonition to a subject, a level of insight which ultimately cannot be gauged. For example, if a man claims to have identified several safety concerns with the Titanic, this would imply that he somehow had a better sense of the situation than others around him did. He need not say when he arrived at these concerns — in fact, it would behoove him not to mention when, as this would only increase, in onlookers, his esteem as a "purveyor of the shipbuilding industry". Likewise, by mentioning that Cote identified certain aspects of Republican actions in the Senate, he is implying that he has a greater sense of the Senate and its actions than others do, leading onlookers to esteem his "purveyorship of the government". At the end of the day, these claims seem to invite readers like myself to attempt editorializing of the content in order to better understand what they're reading. "Why is the subject telling me that he identified these things?" or "Why is the subject telling me that they attributed these certain things?" These questions are inevitably raised with declarations such as these. But editorializing on the part of the reviewer is best avoided on Wikipedia, thus I'm not sure how to proceed — and would like to leave the question to a discussion, preferably with editors such as DGG, Sunrise, TransporterMan and Philafrenzy who are all more familiar with this subject than I am.
As to Fix the Debt, the claim that the subject was a co founder of the organization was mentioned by the editor Sunrise as not being confirmed by the given source, and that too, is my finding. Perhaps DGG's suggestion is correct that Fix the Debt ought to have its own article, and if it does, that this information would best be placed there.  Spintendo      19:15, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
For whatever it's worth, I'd also support the creation of a Fix the Debt article, and I'm happy to help with that endeavor if I can.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 19:41, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Separate, minor edit request[edit]

I wanted to submit a separate edit request as this is a rather minor fix, and I don't want to disrupt the conversation above. Can we update the Banking subsection of the Appointments section? Cote has since stepped down from his position on the board of the NY Federal Reserve.

  • Current text: The election papers did not mention Cote's role at JPMorgan Chase in his candidate C.V.[26]
  • Proposed addition in bold: The election papers did not mention Cote's role at JPMorgan Chase in his candidate C.V.[26] Cote stepped down from the board of New York Federal Reserve in March 2018.[1]

--FacultiesIntact (talk) 19:50, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

I think this is obvious enough to do. DGG ( talk ) 20:10, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
 Done  Spintendo      22:17, 17 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Derby, Michael S. (20 March 2018). "New York Fed Director Helping to Oversee Leadership Search Steps Down". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

General Comment[edit]

I find the general approach of negotiating the contents of an article like this increasingly unsatisfactory. The coi editor should make the requests, should give the references, and then leave the discussion. DGG ( talk ) 20:10, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. This COI editor is making too many requests, and then trying to negotiate every little detail. More billable hours for them, more wasted volunteer time and effort for us. If COI editors are unable and/or unwilling to make reasonable NPOV requests well-supported by reliable sources, they should not expect us to edit their proposed changes for them. The onus is on them to familiarise themselves with the relevant policies and propose sensible changes, not on us to explain our decisions. Edwardx (talk) 21:17, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Unfortunately, they never give up. The idea is to try, try and try again until they get what they want, forum shopping as necessary and never getting angry, always wearing a mask of constructive engagement. There was a request for dispute resolution from this user on my talk page just recently which I declined on the basis that I don't see how someone paid to achieve a pre-determined outcome can ever contribute in good faith or with a NPOV. Philafrenzy (talk) 22:42, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
To be fair, I have asked this COI editor a lot of questions regarding their edit requests, more so than they might be used to. If I'm unsure of whether something should be approved, questions usually help me to arrive at a decision, and I'd rather ask the COI editor first, who is getting paid for their time, rather than another experienced Wikipedian, who isn't, figuring that between their responses and the guidelines I read on my own that I'll eventually come to a good decision, at least that's my hope. Face-smile.svg  Spintendo      22:49, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Splitting and Merging proposal[edit]

Edit request 21-AUG-2018[edit]

Some of the content in David_M._Cote#Government_and_political_donations implies a direct correlation between Cote's position as CEO of Honeywell and the increase in the company's political spending. These decisions are ultimately beholden to the company's board of directors, and as such, would be more appropriate to include on Honeywell, rather than on Cote's BLP.

Extended content


  1. ^ a b c 2014 PAC Summary Data, Honeywell International. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Honeywell 2015 Fact Sheet".
  3. ^ "Honeywell International Inc". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Honeywell 2015 Fact Sheet".
  5. ^ "Honeywell International Inc". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 January 2015.

--FacultiesIntact (talk) 02:50, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment on political donations[edit]

Is it appropriate to include material regarding a company's political donations under a CEO's tenure on his BLP? This was previously discussed here, but no consensus was reached.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 01:58, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

  • No - This is a BLP so a company's political donations should not be included, even it was during his tenure as CEO. The political donations would be better suited on the company's page. Meatsgains(talk) 01:21, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes The donations are part of the story of his tenure as CEO. The massive increase is clearly not coincidental, combined as it was with his lobbying in Washington as discussed in the sources, meeting the President etc. This is yet another attempt by Cote's PR advisers to sanitise the article. See the rest of this page. Philafrenzy (talk) 08:46, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes He was CEO for 15 years, and so are inseparable from any account of his tenure. Edwardx (talk) 10:37, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No – The CEO of a company is not solely responsible for the actions of the company. As DGG mentioned above, he or she is still beholden to the board of directors, who share in the responsibility. Furthermore, to suggest that this is “not coincidental” without actual sources is hearsay and a violation of WP:NOR. It would be just as easy to imply a correlation between the rise in the stock price and the political donations over the same time period. It would be just as easy to suggest that as such Cote is responsible for Honeywell’s success, but we don’t do that here because it’s conjecture at best. At what point do the company’s actions become separable from his tenure? Should we include everything that occurred at Honeywell during the course of his tenure?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 21:05, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Nope, only those topics which WP:reliable sources discuss in relation to the subject. We're not here to decide whether Mr. Cote's is (or is not) responsible for this or that; Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought, but neither is it a filter of original thought where we disagree with the underlying rationale. WP:WEIGHT is the only relevant test here, and as a previously uninvolved editor, I have a hard time seeing what legitimate argument could be made, without recourse to WP:Original research, that this topic isn't WP:DUE for at least some coverage. It should be constrained, and attribution can keep the details from becoming outsized in their presentation. But no coverage when we have multiple RS covering the topic? I just don't see that happening. In any event, your slipper slope / "if we let this in, where does it stop?" argument is not particularly compelling. We have a method for knowing exactly where that line is with regard to any theoretical activity: WP:WEIGHT.
I should note also, however, that some of the coverage proposed above would entail WP:SYNTHESIS from WP:PRIMARY sources. Which would not be acceptable. Drawing the connection from factsheets would be a brightline violation of WP:OR; only where conclusions are reached by independent and reliable secondary sources, conducting their own analysis, should said conclusions be included here. Snow let's rap 01:25, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
  • It is also out of context. Most companies had a considerable increase in political contributions over the period. DGG ( talk ) 23:29, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • (Summoned by bot) If the OpenSecrets reference is the only source on this matter, no, as it does not mention Cote. If RS discuss the rise in political donations and tie Cote in with that, yes. Hrodvarsson (talk) 23:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - We should follow the sources. If there are RS that note the linkage, we should too. I can see several RS that note the association between Cote and Honeywell political donations, including one from the WSJ. NickCT (talk) 10:36, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
If I may quote from that article,

"Honeywell has steadily increased its campaign donations over the last few years, but the heightened prominence of the company and its chief executive today contrasts sharply with earlier times. Former CEO Lawrence Bossidy, who generally shunned the capital's political circuit, sometimes expressed outright disdain for politicians and the entire system of political giving. By contrast, according to industry officials, Mr. Cote usually enjoys dealing with the White House and lawmakers and prides himself on advancing Honeywell's goals through such exchanges."

Unlike his predecessor, Cote has a policy of using political donations to obtain influence and contracts in Washington. The idea that we don't cover this aspect of his tenure at Honeywell because technically it is the company donating rather than him personally is nothing but a smokescreen. It's also irrelevant that this is a BLP since the material is not negative about the subject as it is a totally legal course of action. What do we write about in a CEO's article if not what they did while they were CEO? Philafrenzy (talk) 13:40, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Very much the wrong question, under all of our relevant policies. With respect to the good-faith in which they were made, the RfC inquiry here has presented a call for WP:original research and numerous of the !votes since have engaged in exactly that. The issue is not whether we, in our idiosyncratic personal analysis of the culpability of the subject, believe that a CEO (or this particular CEO inthese particular circumstances) is responsible for the political contributions of a company. Nor is an individual editor's breakdown of coroporate governance and legal or prgamatic burden sharing particularly useful or appropriate here. The question when we analyze this sort of issue on this project, is what is representative of the WP:WEIGHT of the WP:reliable sources? Do the RS discuss Cote in relation to these contributions? If so, then yes, by all means mention them here--probably even if the coverage is somewhat incidental. If the sources do not make this link, then it is difficult to see how mentioning the contributions here would not violate WP:SYNTHESIS. Perhaps if the contributions were one of the single most WEIGHty topics of coverage in regard to the corporation, it could make sense to mention those contributions in the CEO's BLP, but even that would be pushing the line (and in any event, doesn't fit with the facts here). In any event, please remember that we are here to faithfully report what the sources say on a given topic, not to interject our own analysis, draw our own connections, or decide on the "importance" of particular acts undertaking by particular individuals. Again, the relvant policy is WP:WEIGHT, not WP:SEEMS IMPORTANT TO ME. Snow let's rap 00:59, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Inclined towards including in this instance. I believe my above response is the correct one to the RfC inquiry as it is phrased, but having looked at the sources now, I'll give my view on the underlying practical question of whether or not the contributions are WP:DUE for inclusion here. In my view, they are. There's not exactly a bevy of sources discussing this issue, but there are some and they are RS. This seems to warrant some mention; if there are concerns about these details being over-sold in Wikipedia's voice, they can be presented in the form of direct quotes with clear attribution so as to be as robustly NPOV as possible, but all of the arguments forwarded so far ("he's not really responsible, it's a big company" and so forth) are pretty blatantly predicated in WP:OR; we're not here to second-guess the sources, but to summarize them. There's room for discussion here about the degree, length, and format of the content which discusses these details, but I agree with others here that removing all reference would represent a form of sanitization--something we ought to be particularly careful about when it comes in the context of COI proposals. Snow let's rap 01:14, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
  • My contention has been that without an actual source like the one provided by NickCT, it would be inappropriate to include this information, especially the way that it’s currently written. While I disagree with the assessment that it's relevant for inclusion here, I would defer to WP:RS. By all accounts the WSJ is a reliable source in this case. Perhaps this question should be raised at WP:BLP so that we can establish a consensus on this across the board? That said, I think that listing the information in a separate section called “Government and political donations” creates an implication that he is directly and/or solely responsible for these donations. If it is to remain in the article, I still think it best to be integrated “Honeywell” subsection of the “Career” section, as well as updated to reflect that he is no longer CEO of Honeywell. I would propose inserting it as the penultimate sentence of the second paragraph like this:

The year Cote took office, Honeywell lost $220 million. Cote instituted conservative accounting to streamline costs. In an effort to reduce the unpredictability of asbestos-plus-environmental expenses, Honeywell established a trust for claims and reclaim soil at chemical plants. As a result, that expense is consistently $150 million a year, after-tax. Honeywell saw improved quality in design, increased production, and lower production costs after it implemented a new productivity management system. During the 2008-2009 recession, the company instituted furloughs to reduce overall operating costs rather than lay off workers. During his tenure at Honeywell, the company's donations via its Political Action Committee rose from $212,112 in 2002 to $7,879,570 in 2014. As of June 2016, Honeywell's market value has risen from $28 billion to $87 billion since 2002.

Philafrenzy, DGG, and other contributors to this discussion, do you think this is a reasonable solution?--FacultiesIntact (talk) 00:19, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

  • As events in the world keep showing us, it is not easy to separate the actions of an organization from the actions of the CEO. When articles are written here, they both tend to take credit for the same things. "They company expanded ..." is on the company page, "Under his direction, the company expanded " is on the bio. This appears for all sorts of other things too, such as charitable or public-spirited endeavors. It also applies to politics. Normally the political activities of a CEO of a major company, just as anyone in public life, are not divorced from the interests of the organization they lead. The company can not make political speeches--the CEO can. They work together. No organization appoints a CEO who has marked disagreement with the organization's values. When there appears to be some separation between the two, whether in politics or in commercial policy , it is considered major news and indicative of critical problems with the company or the relationship. DGG ( talk ) 06:46, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
@FacultiesIntact: - Seems like a reasonable proposal to me. My only minor criticism would be that calling out the exact dollar figures seems a little pedantic. Would prefer something like "rose from two hundred thousand dollars in 2002 to 8 million in 2014." NickCT (talk) 13:36, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
@DGG: I do agree that the issue of how to separate the actions of a company from its CEO is something that should be addressed (for both positive and negative actions) especially given the public perception of a CEO's role and responsibilities. That said, I'm not sure that this is the best place to have this discussion anymore. Is there another place where we could continue discussing the topic rather than this specific instance? I think it'd be helpful if there was a general guideline to follow, perhaps as part of WP:BLP.
@NickCT: I'm fine with that small change. Would you mind implementing it? I'd prefer not to given my COI.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 00:15, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
@FacultiesIntact: - I put it in. NickCT (talk) 13:58, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
@NickCT: Thanks! Would you mind removing the line "Since his tenure at Honeywell began in 2002, the company's donations via its Political Action Committee have risen from $212,112 in 2002 to $7,879,570 in 2014." from the Government and political donations section? It's redundant now.--FacultiesIntact (talk) 18:49, 4 December 2018 (UTC)re
@FacultiesIntact: - Done. NickCT (talk) 02:33, 5 December 2018 (UTC)