As author Christopher Byron analyzes the ambitions of four celebrity CEOs as manifestations of excess testosterone, he delivers an diverting voyeuristic caper. Byron gossips through the childhood brawls, brutish first marriages, boss-man bullying and late-night womanizing of four famous 1990s-bull market CEOs. He uses pop-psych suppositions to explain GE’s Jack Welch (who gets the most ink), Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, Sunbeam’s "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap and Revlon’s Ron Perelman. What drove these headline-hugging CEOs to jeopardize their legacies with lavish lifestyles, high profile adultery, corporate looting and financial chicanery? "The answer lies not in the stars but in their skivvies," says Byron. He insists that insatiable, uncontrollable appetites for power, sex and money drove these men to victory and ruin, fueled by impoverished childhoods, poison parents and thirst for attention. Though Byron cites 90 interviews and some 15,000 documents - divorce filings, police records, court records, financial statements and SEC documents - none of those profiled agreed to an interview. But if his one-sided, unauthorized profiles may lack some essentials, such as fairness, objectivity and, perhaps, even contextual accuracy, they entertain with heavily-footnoted factoids, arrayed with verve, voyeurism and smarmy commentary. getAbstract offers this as nothing more than an entertaining, bitchy romp through the boom-to-bust roller coaster careers of four men who ruled recklessly with flashes of brilliance and then fell from the sky. It’s a swell read, but you may want to wash up afterward.
In this summary, you will learn
- How four 1990s CEOs - Jack Welch of GE, Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco, Ron Perelman of Revlon and Al Dunlap of Sunbeam - got drunk on sex, power and fame, and nearly self-destructed;
- How their childhood experiences manifested in bullying, risk-taking and womanizing; and
- How unchecked Alpha male leadership can deliver revolutionary, short-term gains and dramatic long-term losses.
About the Author
Christopher Byron is a Connecticut-based business and finance writer, whose work has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, Worth and New York magazines, among others. The author of the bestseller, Martha Inc., he writes a weekly business column for the New York Post. He also hosts a syndicated daily radio show, Wall Street Wakeup with Chris Byron.