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Managers Manage Messes

This week, the media are giving a lot of attention to the woes of DaimlerChrysler and JetBlue. I have written a fair bit about the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in 1998, and told Bloomberg Radio last week that the company was “a tragedy story” owing largely…

By Bob Bruner-
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Presidents and Exemplars

In the latest New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg does an amusing riff on the holiday coming next Monday—is it President’s, Presidents’ or Presidents Day? In 1968, Congress designated the holiday as the third Monday in February to give workers a reliable three-day weekend and get past the…

By Bob Bruner-
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Losing and wisdom

In the recent movie, A Good Year, we have a film that one reviewer characterized as “shortish, picturesque, sometimes mouthwatering, generally light and definitely charming.” The story is that a very successful and rapacious securities trader, Max Skinner, inherits a chateau and vineyard in the South of France…

By Bob Bruner-
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Recruiting the World

The reception by Brazilians for the team from Darden has been hospitable and fruitful. We reached out to applicants; we consummated a partnership with IBMEC in Sao Paulo; I gave media interviews and a speech to an audience of professors and business executives. We are doing this to build Darden…

By Bob Bruner-
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Quo Vadis? (Where are you going?)

Last night I attended a reception for prospective applicants in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The turnout was much larger than expected, the biggest I’ve seen in Latin America. Mexicans surprised me as well last October. Over the next few days, I’ll visit Brazil—it seems that we will…

By Bob Bruner-
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Paying Attention

When I welcomed the classes of 2007 and 2008 to Darden in August, I told them “You must be present to win”—this is another way of saying, pay attention to the total experience you face. This may seem like an odd message to give 28-year…

By Bob Bruner-
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Why must public companies go private?

This morning’s Wall Street Journal reports that large institutional investors are opposing a proposal to take private Clear Channel Communications. Investors have nixed some other going private deals recently. At last it looks like we’ll have a public discussion about this. Why can’t CEOs do for their…

By Bob Bruner-
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Recruiting and Inefficiency in the Market for Talent

Darden is in the thick of the recruiting cycle for first year students. Second year students are weighing offers and/or are in the late stage of discussions. This is a very good recruiting year at Darden. In a typical year, virtually all our students who want job offers get…

By Bob Bruner-
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Tough and Tender

This is an appreciation for the life of Martin Luther King, whom we remember on this holiday. Observances today will recall his activism, courage, and oratory. For the world wide Darden community, I would like to recall a different, but equally important, aspect of his message. King said, “We…

By Bob Bruner-
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Puzzles and Mysteries

This week’s New Yorker contains one of the most insightful commentaries on Enron that I’ve seen: Malcolm Gladwell’s** “ Open Secrets: Enron, Intelligence, and the Perils of Too Much Information.” I’ve read a great deal about Enron over the years, and, along with colleague Sam…

By Bob Bruner-