Denny's Zinger: Boys and Their Toys. The Story of a New CEO.
I love it when women succeed in business.
What triggered this column was Abigail Johnson being named CEO of Fidelity Investments. Granddaughter of the founder, she replaces her father who now serves as Chairman. Abby—as she is known—joined the firm in 1988 and worked her way up the ladder.
Peggy and I wish her every success, especially since Fidelity is custodian of our retirement funds.
In 1971, Meredith hired me to save Better Homes & Gardens Family Book Service in Manhasset, Long Island.
That year, the Des Moines company announced with great fanfare that it had tapped E.T. Meredith III—grandson of the founder—to be President and CEO. The company's P.R. flak was busting his buttons with pride that a real Meredith was the head of Meredith.
Word came out of Des Moines that Ted Meredith called in his CFO to discuss buying a corporate jet. He was ordered to run the numbers to justify the expense. Meredith had printing plants and suppliers in the boonies, which required many hours of executive travel.
Add up the dollars in executives' time spent flying commercial plus the cost of first class airfares everywhere plus limos, rental cars, overnights, entertainment, etc.
The CFO ran the numbers—heavily loaded in Ted Meredith's favor—and rendered the verdict.
No way in hell existed that would justify the purchase of a corporate jet.
Whereupon Ted Meredith authorized the purchase of a jet.
Takeaways to Consider
- "It's good to be the king." —Mel Brooks
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