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Corporate Catalyst

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An inside look at the real business worldIn Corporate Catalyst, Tony Griffiths gives readers a ringside seat on the many boardroom... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

An inside look at the real business world

In Corporate Catalyst, Tony Griffiths gives readers a ringside seat on the many boardroom and corporate battles that he both fought and witnessed through the nearly six decades of his productive and colorful career. Among other stories, Griffiths replays his two stints as the CEO of Canada's darling of the telecom industry, Mitel Corporation. The first was in the late 1980s, a time when he helped staunch the flow of red ink and returned the company to profitability. The second was in the early 1990s, when he steered the company through its majority ownership by British Telecom and then its sale to Schroder Ventures. As Griffiths relates it, he had to learn how to deal with the bureaucratic style of the former and the power-hungry moves of the latter.

Corporate Catalyst includes the author's blow-by-blow account of what went on inside Confederation Life in the 1980s and early 1990s—a story that should have prevented the failure of the likes of Lehman Brothers in the recent Great Recession. Griffiths, who had his hands full at the time with challenges at Mitel, also sat on Confed's board. He tried to warn Confederation Life's executives and his fellow board members of the financial dangers the company was facing. No one but a few other board members would listen-and even they did not do so consistently. The fall of Confed Life became one of the largest failures of a major finance company in corporate history.

Griffiths takes the reader on a dramatic tour of the trickery, betrayal, and politicking that the world of business seems to attract. He introduces readers to the biggest and boldest names in Canadian business, including Jake Moore of Brascan, Robert Campeau of Campeau Corporation, Terry Mathews of Mitel, Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications, Conrad Black of Hollinger, Adam Zimmerman of Noranda, Pat Burns of Confederation Life, and Christopher Ondaatje of The Ondaatje Corporation.

In the book's many cautionary tales, Griffiths warns against mixing the roles of governance and management and shows the marked tendency of executives to take up residence far from reality when times get tough. 'We don't listen. We don't plan. We don't act,' he wrote in frustration to the board and management of Confederation Life after months of trying to get someone to address the financial mess they were in.

Full of hard-won wisdom, Corporate Catalyst is a must-read for anyone working in business or interested in what the business world is really like.

Anthony 'Tony' Griffiths was born in Rangoon, Burma, and educated in the U.S. and Canada. He holds an MBA from Harvard. He is the chairman of Russel Metals, Inc. and Novadaq Technologies Inc., a director of Vitran Corp., Fairfax Financial, Gedex Inc., Jaguar Mining Inc., and The Brick Group. Previous directorships include Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Canadian Cablesystems, Canadian Tire, Consumers Packaging, Harding Carpets, Hub International Ltd., Leitch Technology Corp., Shaw Communications, and Slater Steel—and, once upon a time, even the Edmonton Oilers. Tony and his wife Penny reside in Toronto.



Autorentext

Anthony "Tony" Griffiths was born in Rangoon, Burma, and educated in the U.S. and Canada. He holds an MBA from Harvard. He is the chairman of Russel Metals, Inc. and Novadaq Technologies Inc., a director of Vitran Corp., Fairfax Financial, Gedex Inc., Jaguar Mining Inc., and The Brick Group. Previous directorships include Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Canadian Cablesystems, Canadian Tire, Consumers Packaging, Harding Carpets, Hub International Ltd., Leitch Technology Corp., Shaw Communications, and Slater Steeland, once upon a time, even the Edmonton Oilers. Tony and his wife Penny reside in Toronto.



Klappentext

From the author's "Note to the Reader":

I wanted to put on the record my own account of events that I experienced throughout my business career. As time has marched onward, books have naturally appeared written by journalists and business people giving their views of the history of which I was a part. In some cases, biographers and autobiographers have taken considerable licence with the facts. Some of this is inadvertent or innocent since, in many instances, the writer would not necessarily be aware of the other side of the issues. In other cases, there have been clear distortions and reinvention of the facts to suit the writer's story. ... [F]or my story to have substance and meaning, I have to provide the full account. ...

[M]y experiences have been situational, where I am cast into problems created by others and must evolve a corrective plan and set the tone for the future. These episodes introduced a variety of personalities and forcessome friendly and co-operative, some difficult and complicated, and others, regrettably, that did not respect the trust of a handshake.

"In Corporate Catalyst, Tony Griffiths, consummate deal-maker and corporate fixer, shares the secrets of his astonishingly varied experience in Canadian business with wit and wisdom. It should be required reading for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders."
Peter Stormonth Darling, former Chairman of Mercury Asset Management and former Vice Chair of S.G.Warburg, London, U.K.

"This is a wonderful tale about business in Canada over the past forty years as told by the man with the most varied career that I have ever encountered, written in the same straightforward manner that defines his character."
Robin Korthals, Corporate Director, and former TD Bank President

"A riveting read. The book is charming in its candour, insight and humour. A great insight into Canadian business personalities."
Michael MacMillan, former Chair and CEO of Alliance Atlantis Communications

"If you want to know what goes on in a boardroom and why it is difficult for one director to change the course of a corporation, read this book. The majority may not always be right, but it is hard for one person to convince the majority. This is an inside story told by an insider."
Claude Lamoureux, Co-founder of Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, former CEO of Ontario Teachers Pension



Zusammenfassung
An inside look at the real business world

In Corporate Catalyst, Tony Griffiths gives readers a ringside seat on the many boardroom and corporate battles that he both fought and witnessed through the nearly six decades of his productive and colorful career. Among other stories, Griffiths replays his two stints as the CEO of Canada's darling of the telecom industry, Mitel Corporation. The first was in the late 1980s, a time when he helped staunch the flow of red ink and returned the company to profitability. The second was in the early 1990s, when he steered the company through its majority ownership by British Telecom and then its sale to Schroder Ventures. As Griffiths relates it, he had to learn how to deal with the bureaucratic style of the former and the power-hungry moves of the latter.

Corporate Catalyst includes the author's blow-by-blow account of what went on inside Confederation Life in the 1980s and early 1990sa story that should have prevented the failure of the likes of Lehman Brothers in the recent Great Recession. Griffiths, who had his hands full at the time with challenges at Mitel, also sat on Confed's board. He tried to warn Confederation Life's executives and his fellow board members of the financial dangers the company was facing. No one but a few other board members would listen-and even they did not do so consistently. The fall of Confed Life became one of the largest failures of a major finance company in corporate history.

Griffiths takes the reader on a dramatic tour of the trickery, betrayal, and politicking that the world of business seems to attract. He introduces readers to the biggest and boldest names in Canadian business, including Jake Moore of Brascan, Robert Campeau of Campeau Corporation, Terry Mathews of Mitel, Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications, Conrad Black of Hollinger, Adam Zimmerman of Noranda, Pat Burns of Confederation Life, and Christopher Ondaatje of The Ondaatje Corporation.

In the book's many cautionary tales, Griffiths warns against mixing the roles of governance and management and shows the marked tendency of executives to take up residence far from reality when times get tough. "We don't listen. We don't plan. We don't act," he wrote in frustration to the board and management of Confederation Life after months of trying to get someone to address the financial mess they were in.

Full of hard-won wisdom, Corporate Catalyst is a must-read for anyone working in business or interested in what the business world is really like.



Inhalt
Acknowledgements IX

Note to the Reader XI

1 From an Old World to a New: 18961956 1

2 My Next Education, 19561960 15

3 I Cut My Teeth on Glass, 19601968 23

4 Looking Past Glass, 19691971 35

5 From Candy Mergers to Cable Mergers, 19711974 49

6 Cable Wars Go Public, 19731977 67

7 Oral Assurances, 19771979 89

8 Trolling for Takeovers, 19751978 109

9 Weaving a Recovery, 19791982 121

10 From Supergun to Handgun, or Down and Out in L. A., 19791984 137

11 Crisis at Mitel and then British Telecom Calls, 19841987 153

12 From Provincial Bailout to Financial Collection, 1987 183

13 Extraordinary Financial Escapades, 19871990 195

14 Mitel: Second Time Around, 19871991 215

15 British Imperialism Enters the Boardroom, 19921993 233

16 A New-World Colonial: The Ondaatje Corporation, 19921995 257

17 Catalyst for Change: The Saga of Confederation Life, 19891994 281

18 In Closing: What To Do When Faced with a Company in Trouble 305

Appendix: Board Membership 315

Endnotes 319

Index 327

Produktinformationen

Titel: Corporate Catalyst
Untertitel: A Chronicle of the (Mis)Management of Canadian Business from a Veteran Insider
Autor:
EAN: 9781118159569
ISBN: 978-1-118-15956-9
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Wiley
Genre: Allgemeines, Lexika
Anzahl Seiten: 256
Veröffentlichung: 05.03.2012
Jahr: 2012
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 2.9 MB