Apologizing is an effective interpersonal conflict resolution strategy, but whether, and if so how, organizations should issue public apologies after crises remains less clear. To assuage the fear of possible crisis reoccurrence, public apologies may be effective when they provide a comprehensive account of what happened and clarify actions taken by the company to address the problems. If this is so, public apologies may be most effective when the crisis source resides within the organization itself, suggesting that the company has control over it. In the current study, we first tested this hypothesis by presenting participants with multiple crisis scenarios (e.g., ignition failures in a new car model) followed by one of two written apologies: one stating that the crisis source was internal to and controllable by the organization, and the other external and uncontrollable. The internal-controllable (IC) public apology proved most effective. We then examined the neural basis of this public apology assessment and found that the frontal polar cortex appears to mediate the assessment of organizational control, and the angular gyrus uses the information for the apology assessment. Examination of complex social interactions, such as the public's reaction to corporate crises, helps to elucidate high-level brain function.