While I was out of the office today, a Vice President walked into my assistant’s office and demanded a copy of MS Office to install on his new laptop.  The laptop in question is not company property.  It is a recent purchase for home personal use, probably for his daughter.  The VP already has two laptops that are company property with Office installed.

My assistant had the sense of mind to not be buffaloed by the blustering Vice President and put him off, telling him that he had to check with me.  I ran it by the CEO, advising him that it would cost x dollars in soft money as it would consume one of our corporate licenses.  I suggested that the VP could get his own copy of home and student version for $150.

The VP was not happy.  Apparently my predecessor did not have a problem with him ‘borrowing’ company software in the past.  I’ve always tried to run a tight ship when it comes to legality on our software installs.  Every year I fork over more money to Microsoft or Symantec for the additional uses of corporate licenses during the year.

When I came on board I was advised by my boss that there are certain people you want to keep happy.  This particular VP was one of them. OK, so I pissed off a VP, but I kept us legal with Microsoft.  Was it worth it?  The chances of us ever being audited by Microsoft are slim to none but I still have to work with this VP and his staff.

What would you have done?  Is this a problem in your organization?