Mr. Congeniality in Corporate America

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mr. Congeniality in Corporate America

Today's Wall Street Journal (registration req'd) has a front page article on Brocade Communications Systems Inc., a high-tech firm alleged to have fabricated its employment records in an attempt to bolster the value of stock options.

But the article's sidebar description of the behavior of Brocade's former CEO, Gregory Reyes, was more interesting than the rest of the article:
Mr. Reyes was a tough manager who was known for firing questions at any employee who passed him by without making eye contact. ... he could make crude remarks about Brocade's competitors, referring to the main one, McData Corp., as "McDoo-doo."

In a Halloween ritual at the company, (Brocade) employees would gather in a courtyard while Mrs. Reyes stood on a chair, made a speech about the need to smash the competition, then took a baseball bat and shattered a pumpkin with "McData" carved on it.

Another Reyes speciality: He sometimes startled staffers by chewing tobacco during meetings and spitting into a Styrofoam cup or empty mineral water bottle.

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