“What do we elites do when we screw up? We pretend it never happened and give ourselves a giant bonus.” —Jack Donaghy [played by Alec Baldwin] to Liz Lemon [played by Tina Fey] in 30 Rock, Season 3, Episode 8, “Flu Shot,” original air date Jan. 15, 2009, teleplay by Jon Pollack, directed by Don Scardino
This past week witnessed some interesting corollaries to what I call Donaghy’s Law:
*One tech mogul (whose surname rhymes with “Dusk”) who laid staggering debt on the social-media company he acquired, terminated half its workforce, and toyed with the idea of declaring bankruptcy—all within two weeks of taking control;
*A second tech guru (whose surname rhymes with “Wahlberg”) who decided his social media company would transition to the metaverse and bet heavily that e-commerce revenues would continue to climb, saw earnings drop, told the 11,000 employees he was laying off that he would “take accountability” for his disastrous corporate change in direction—and then did no such thing;
*A third billionaire (whose surname rhymes with “Dump”), anxious to return to a political job he held until a few years ago, who informed an interviewer a few days ago, with a straight face, about the slate of candidates he’d endorsed: “If they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” (“Did I really just hear that?” I thought to myself after the comment first aired.)
Whatever happened to the quaint notion of CEO responsibility?
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