Hindery goes CEO bashing
Leo Hindery Jr. has been a CEO several times over, most notably for AT&T Broadband and the Yes Network, the television station owned by baseball’s New York Yankees.
Leo Hindery Jr. has been a CEO several times over, most notably for AT&T Broadband and the Yes Network, the television station owned by baseball’s New York Yankees. In a book coming out next month, though, Hindery blasts his fellow chief executives for abandoning their responsibilities to shareholders -- and to all Americans.
“It’s obvious and clear that the community of business leaders has not sufficiently reformed itself in the light of the problems that have been identified, the situations and misbehaviors we’ve seen these past few years,” says the 57-year-old media industry veteran. In the book, It Takes a CEO: It’s Time to Lead with Integrity, which is being released by Free Press on November 1, Hindery takes to task not only CEOs who have of late been convicted of corporate crimes, such as exTyco International chief Dennis Kozlowski and former WorldCom supremo Bernie Ebbers, but also what he describes as a sort of silent majority in corporate executive suites that has failed to publicly condemn improper conduct and embrace new ways of thinking and behaving.
A longtime backer of Democratic politicians, Hindery embraces several liberal causes even as he hectors CEOs. He takes swipes at the offshoring of jobs to India, consolidation among big media companies and the growing disparity between society’s haves and have-nots. He notes that all fall under a common theme: Corporations should be responsible not just to shareholders but to a much wider group of constituencies, including employees, customers and the general public.
Indeed, during a brief phone interview last month, Hindery sounded more like a potential candidate for public office than the private equity investor he has been since leaving Yes last year. But he’s quick to dismiss that idea: “I’m not trying to start a movement here, and I’m not running for anything. It’s corny and self-serving, but it was an important book for me to write, because I feel that a lot of these issues are getting short shrift.”