Airbus CEO dropped trousers for plane deal: book (Reuters)According to Boeing versus Airbus, a book by writer John Newhouse that will be published tomorrow, the colossal rivalry was born when a pair of pants were dropped; specifically, those of Jean Pierson. While at US Airways for a meeting to seal a 400-plane deal with then-chair Stephen Wolf back in ’97, Pierson, apparently unwilling to bend to Wolf’s pressure to get a 5% discount, did what any good businessman would do—he dropped trou.
“Pierson began slowly lowering his trousers and saying ‘I have nothing more to give.’ He then allowed the trousers to fall around his ankles,” says Newhouse in his book.
Wolf replied: “Pull up your pants. I don’t need any more money,” and the deal was signed, according to the book. The author says he got the story from Pierson himself, and it was confirmed by another person present.
Shortly afterward, US Airways announced the purchase of 124 single-aisle Airbus A320 family jets with options for 276 more, a stab into the heart of Boeing’s competing 737 program. It put the European company on track to overtake Boeing in global orders only two years later.
Not unlike to how the DealBreaker/DealBook rivalry was started. (Though that story involves a lot more planes, a sombrero and a scuffle at the Canadian border).
Backdating Is Revealed by 28 Companies to Avoid Taxes (Bloomberg) No fewer than 28 companies being investigated for backdating have named executives who were given “improper grants” in order to save themselves from millions in tax penalties. Fifteen chairmen and chief executive officers, according to the filings handed over to the S.E.C., in addition to other higher-ups, received options to purchase shares below market prices. Somewhere, in an undisclosed location, Steve Jobs is laughing manically and saying to his butler “I told you, Jeeves—in order to ensure our survival, I have to take down a few peons along the way. Don’t look at me like that. C’mon, you know I can’t stand it when you’re mad at me. Now, what do you say to an episode of “The Office” on my new phone?”
BIG BOARD BRASS ARE ‘SEAT CHEATS': SUIT (NYPost) Paul Rittmaster, Sylvia Lief and Janet Hyman—former NYSE seatholders who sold their seats in late 2005 for around $1.5 million each—will face the Big Board in court, arguing that Chief Executive John Thain did not inform them of a pending merger with Archipelago, which caused seats to jump to $2.4 million, and a $4 million sale that December. The three plaintiffs are asking for at least $2.5 million each. Not surprisingly, it was Judge Charles “I don’t take s*** from anybody, especially not Johnny-boy Thain” Ramos who shot down the NYSE’s attempt to dismiss the case last week.
‘Mad Money’ talks, students listen (boston.com) Legions of Ritalin-addicted college students find meaning in a man who doesn’t consider it odd to threaten to “eat a vintage Sears, Roebuck catalog.” (Which it’s not, we’re just trying to give you a character sketch here).
Wall Street’s Weathermen (Forbes) Wall Streeters care about the weather, and not just because 60 Januarys mean their “adorable and fashion forward blue shirts/black pants ensembles are no longer obscured by dumpy winter coats.” (Though that’s a large part of it).
Lindsay tackles DJO, founded by former NFL player Mark Nordquist. (WallStrip)