In one section Stewart recounts in minute detail how Disney ended up paying $280 million in severance to former company Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg because Eisner’s ego got in the way of approving a pre-negotiated deal to pay out a mere $90 million.
That’s $190 million down the crapper simply because Eisner couldn’t deal honestly with a man who’d also been one of his best friends for 20 years. Eisner is reportedly stepping down next year. Maybe my stock will finally start going up when he’s gone.
Sometimes strong relationships unravel surprisingly fast and unpleasantly; sounds like Eisner:Katzenberg is one of those. Incidents like this really highlight the absurdity of an over-zealous focus on hard measures of business performance; human relationships can destroy – and create – value in a moment.