Some things piss Emerson Electric CEO David Farr off. Some things make him want to kick some goddamned ass. Unfortunately, when he curses up a blue streak like that, it offends the church groups that moonlight as industrials analysts.
In an unusually frank analyst note issued after the meeting, Scott Davis of Barclays Capital said Mr. Farr “is well-liked and proven, yet his questionable outbursts at analyst events and conference calls do not inspire confidence.”
In an interview, Jeffrey Sprague of Vertical Research Partners voiced similar reservations. “I always take such comments from David with a grain of salt, because he is very aggressive, passionate and competitive. I don’t think he means any harm, but I do think he at times goes too far, which needlessly raises investor questions and concerns,” Mr. Sprague said.
In the interests of full disclosure, we offer some of Mr. Farr’s extremely offensive statements, cleaned up for the highly proper readership of The Wall Street Journal.
“We are not a one-trick pony,” Mr. Farr snapped at the Feb. 11 meeting. “If I see that in writing, one more g— d— time, I’m going to tear them apart.”
Mr. Farr, 58 years old, who also is a director of International Business Machines Corp., added: “We do well in China, g— d— it, and I’m not embarrassed by it, but we’re not a g— d— one-trick pony.”
Then came an abortive attempt to make nice: “I apologize for swearing. You guys p— me off when you write that. You haven’t figured that out. And I’ve been training real hard the last couple of years to kick your a—.”