Monday, June 21, 2010
It is hard to imagine a CEO who is more tone deaf than BP chief Tony Hayward, caught watching a yacht race while his imperfectly abated well gushes in to the Gulf of Mexico. Dude, I get that you need to unwind, but lay off the Richie Rich bit until, say, six weeks after you've capped that bastard. If you need a change of pace, see a NASCAR race, or go to the pub and play some darts, or chop some wood and clear some brush, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
The question, of course, is whether BP has the worst public relations advisers in the history of the universe, or whether Tony Hayward is ignoring them. There is no third possibility, and that is itself a reflection of his poor management of the situation.
Oh, and no, life ain't fair, especially when the Obama-besotted media is involved.
Now Mr Tigerhawk, I love your blog and most often agree with you, but asking the poor limey to miss such a prestigious yacht race is above and beyond.
This from the AP: "The annual one-day race is one of the world's largest, attracting more than 1,700boats and 16, 000 sailors as world-renowned yachtsmen compete with wealthy amateurs in the 50-nautical mile course around the island."
If your boat is running, it would be like missing one of the triple crown races when your horse is favored.
So what activity could the CEO or President participate in which would cut one day off the schedule to cap the well? I'm quite certain the guys working to cork the gusher don't want *anybody* from the upper office (which includes the White House) visiting, the dog-and-pony show that accompanies them always chews up valuable "Real Work" time.
Normally the most substantial impact Management can have in these cases is Negative. BP seems to be doing fairly well here with contingency planning (although a little late), while the Feds waffle. (Hey! Stop those oil-skimming barges until we can get them inspected.)
Alinksy's Rules for Radicals
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy.
Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
Whatever you think of Tony Hayward, he was recently relieved of command. He's irrelevant now, unless AG Holder wants to charge him criminally -- but he makes a nice target, doesn't he.
I dislike Big Government as much as the next wing-nut, but I think we all have to admit that the behavior of the big-time capitalists these last few years - think GM, Chrysler, AIG, everyone on Wall Street, and now BP - has been positively embarrassing. They demand their perks and their power and then do not lead, except straight to the bottom.
Small and medium size capitalists are great, but when corporations get too big, those at the top begin to be more like dictators.
This is why we have anti-trust laws. Probably any corporation that exceeds a certain size (hard to determine, I know) should be split up.
We are lacking in checks and balances in this area.
Whatever you think of Tony Hayward, he was recently relieved of command.
On last count Mr. Obama has played 38 rounds of golf since entering the White House.
Are you f'ing kidding me?
This guy would normally be my hero, if he were able to get out of the house with two young kids at home and a relatively busy professional life. However, how the hell can the most important man in the world get away 38 times in less than a 18 months for a four hour round of golf, plus a minimum of another hour to warm-up, post play drink and another hour minimum of commuting (circa 6 hours!)
Say what you want about G.W. when the Wars started he packed the golf clubs away, if for no other reason than perception. Obama has two wars going on, an unemployment rate around 10% for most of his Presidency and multiple fiscal and legislative crises; nevermind an environmental disaster that is not going away...
As an avid golfer, I dream of the day when I can play without the guilt of missing time with my kids or the time away from running my business. However, as a lover of the game, I also know how addicting it can be and how much it can suck away one's initiative. Hang out at any Country Club and you see enough of the same guys who are always there and you can bet that either their personal life or the professional life is not where it should be.
I think the next time I hear a Lefty argue that the MSM is not in the bag for the Democrats, I will just cite the stat of the number of times Obama has played golf versus the total number of times G.W. played in his 8 years (less than 10 times - almost all with his most trusted advisor - President George H.W. Bush)
Oh, and PS: I'm beginning to think BP will finish this episode in bankruptcy court. Poor management is the entire cause, since the industry economics and enormous scale required to compete virtually guarantee a profit to all participants.
Say what you want about G.W. when the Wars started he packed the golf clubs away, if for no other reason than perception.
Um...the war in Afghanistan was underway for nearly 24 months before Bush gave up golfing in October '03, which coincided with the time that:
Bush suffered a minor muscle tear in his right calf and that injury, along with aching knees, forced him to abandon his running routine. The calf strain healed by August when he had his annual physical, but the president said in September that he suspected he had a meniscus tear.
For those who prefer facts over fiction, Busg took 147 days vacation his first year in office; Obama took 53 days"
For those keeping score, Bush took a total of 977 days vacation during his 8 years in office. I presume you can do the math...
News item from today:
"White House spokesman Bill Burton took [Tony Hayward] to task again on Monday, suggesting that Hayward take part in the cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico with the 300,000 euro yacht he co-owns. "You know, look, if Tony Hayward wants to put a skimmer on that yacht and bring it down to the Gulf, we'd be happy to have his help," Burton said to laughter in the White House briefing room.
"But when asked about Obama's day Saturday, in particular his four hour golf game at a course near Washington, Burton said the president had the right to
decompress a bit after a hard week."
It is hard to imagine a CEO who is more tone deaf than BP chief Tony Hayward..
BHO White Sox game - 9 innings 3 hours
BHO Golf - 18 holes 4 hours
$20 billion extorted to be administered by Acorn? Priceless!
First of all, Mr. Anonymous, you linked to a blatantly partisan hit piece by the Daily fucking Iowan. Which, in case you didn't know, is a far left *student newspaper* printed about 2 miles from my house.
You urge me to believe that President Bush spent 33.46% of his time in office 'on vacation.' Or 4 months per year, if you're really mathematically challenged. That is utter horseshit, which should be apparent to anyone who was alive, paying attention, and over the age of 12 during his term in office. It will take more than some snarky undergrad to make me rewrite my own memories.
Second, you linked to what is in essence a report about a reporter's hobby which itself uses quotation marks around 'vacation.' They count Bush's trips to Crawford (including working trips where he entertained and negotiated with foreign heads of state and worked with military commanders; hardly a vacation) as 'vacation days,' but not Obama's numerous balls, golfing outings, trips to the theater, etc.
A child (because they tend not to wear partisan blinders) could see that this little arbitrary calculation is no way to judge a president. They even say so, in the last paragraph of the article, which I generously assume you neglected to read rather than simply lying by omission.
Don't link to things you don't expect people to actually read and think about. Unless you're a Congressman.
Obama & Co only care about back dooring legislation and managing the MSM spin cycle. Obama can do that and still have lots of time to play golf, and frequent his vacation home: Air Force One. Nothing else signifies. Obama doesn't fix crises ... he plays them to advantage.
Obama wants to leverage his pseudo-mandate into permanent structural changes to America effected through legislation, most of which will play out after 2012.
As an aside, I think they're lowballing the cost of his yacht. It is a Bruce Farr design, but Farr doesn't actually build boats. The asking price for this 5-year-old Farr-design Transpac 52 is close to $600K.
There is a problem generally with corporate accountability for the largest corporations in our system. Management runs the corp as it sees fit and shareholder input is so diffuse it is not an effective control. Thus we see CEOs with multi-million dollar compensation packages regardless of performance, fabulous golden parachutes, and every conceivable perk. The attitudes produced by this state of affairs are not consistent with the interests of shareholders, customers or the public at large.
But it's a different problem from Tony Hayward's comments. He was set up to be the scapegoat from the beginning and his every word and deed dissected for something to criticize. It is not a productive undertaking, does not help with the runaway well or the cleanup and might even be counterproductive. BP did the right thing by getting him out of the response effort and out of the limelight.
Anonymous, you are quite correct about the value of the boat. Even a production boat over 50 feet will set you back a cool $million, or about Eu.675, 000 or so.