I recently finished a couple of other business books about interesting characters from the business world. In this post I'll cover 'Mean Business' by Albert Dunlap. Written in 1996 & 1997 this book is Albert Dunlap's declaration of how wonderful he is...over and over again. After you get past the self aggrandizing, there are some interesting tid-bits that I agree with.
Companies should reduce complexity
A company exists to generate returns for its shareholders. This is something I think needs to be better highlighted in this country. Companies are owned by their shareholders. Company officers need to be held accountable and as shareholders we have every right to demand that they perform. Paying huge bonuses when our companies lose money, paying for luxury apartments in foreign cities, paying for the corporate jet to take the CEO's dog to the vacation home...these are things we should not stand for.
Charity is not the business of a company. A company should earn returns for us as shareholders. We should have the right to determine where those profits are used. Instead of giving my money away, give it to me to give away. I deserve to be given the key to city, not you as the CEO.
Company officers should own stock, and so should directors. If the company is going to be successful, I want to see you with a real financial stake, not just a bunch of options that get repriced if the stock drops.
Of course, as a follow up it should be pointed out that at Al Dulap's last endeavor, Sunbeam, it was found that the company was stuffing their retail channel with product at fantastical terms...something highly discouraged in today's revenue recognition practices.
I was not able to find any information re: what he is doing now. Nor most of the other people mentioned in the book.
As an aside, Arthur Anderson was the auditor for Sunbeam.