On a typical day, most of you probably obtain your lunch in one of several ways: ordering it on Seamless, out at a working lunch, or ferreting around the office pantry for a melange of snacks. A good day might involve getting your 11th Chop’t salad for free. If creativity and need to feel alive struck, you’d possibly think about sneaking into the executive dining room and swipe a couple of dinner rolls. But would you ever purchase a business class ticket out of JFK (or whatever your local airport may be), gorge yourself on free delicacies in the lounge, and then reschedule your flight so you could do it all again the next day, and the day after that? You might not, but this genius did: Read more »
It’s a sign of how bad things are that a consultant has to tell you to romance the opposite side’s management. This was apparently the fate of August Busch III (hereafter “der Alte Kaiser”) when he was trying to buy the original minority stake in Grupo Modelo. So he took Modelo’s executives deep-sea fishing in Cabo, which is a good recovery from his earlier obliviousness (but not for hangovers because of the boat’s rocking, trust me).
It’s a sign that things are even worse when you hook a marlin but then decide you’re needed back in the United States. August III, doing something that only an old monarch can think was appropriate, passed the rod off to a Modelo chieftain, Valentin Diez, and ordered him to bring the fish in promptly.* Which is just about impossible.
The net result of the botched expedition was a marlin pardoned by Busch’s imperiousness and a group of Modelo executives permanently embittered against Anheuser for the same reason. Diez told friends that much, while other participants described August III’s attitude “you’ll do it my way or you die.” David Kesmodel thinks of this debacle as the beginning of a rift between the two brewers, the emnity that culminated in Modelo shooting down August IV’s pleas to merge and avoid the rough wooing of InBev. We just think it’s a priceless anecdote about how not to run a company.
*We’ve embarassed ourselves enough times in front of Cabo’s sportfishing guides to know that it’s a rookie mistake to rush bringing the marlin in. You don’t have to be Brian Hunter to know that marlins, like livers, fight for hours before they’re beaten.
–DealBreaker’s second best fisherman, Andrew.