It’s been often touted that if you are rich enough and famous enough then the rules don’t apply to you. However, a couple of recent cases might indicate that perhaps the law of gravity does apply after all. The poster boy for business hubris and political arrogance is Rupert Murdoch, a gentleman I had the pleasure of meeting a million years ago when I worked on Fleet Street in London.
The recent indictment of him as essentially “unfit” to be at the helm of an empire as vast as News Corp. was impressive in that it didn’t pull any punches. Parliament essentially branded Murdoch, along with a handful of his henchmen, as “unsafe at any speed.” His son has already taken the fall. Will big daddy be next?
Another recent example of flabbergasting disregard of best practices was Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and then AOL patents from Microsoft. Either one of these acquisitions would be newsworthy on its own, but to conduct the negotiations apparently almost singlehandedly by Zuckerberg himself and then to announce them in the middle of a supposed ‘quiet’ period just prior to an upcoming IPO is just startling. CNBC is reporting that the company is now planning to delay the IPO by a month or two to compensate for the stun grenade level of quietness they have exhibited so far. My favorite part is that when asked for comment, Facebook declined by citing the quiet period. It’s not often that I actually LOL, but I did when I read that.