One of the more interesting tidbits of news over the break was that ACS might be sold for $8.1 billion. Darwin Deason, the founder of the computing-services firm, controls about one third of the company’s stock. After the company pays off some long-term debt, Deason figures to pocket about $2 billion. That’ll buy a lot of Diet Coke and Kahlua. Oh, and an even bigger yacht. (For those who don’t get the reference, enjoy our June 2003 profile of Deason titled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless.” You’ll have to pay to read the full article, but the lead follows after the jump.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless
Darwin Deason founded Affiliated Computer Services and built it into a Fortune 500 Company. Today he’s worth about $500 million. But now an employee claims that Deason enjoyed his riches at the expense of shareholders — and the IRS.
By Tim Rogers
Accounts differ as to what exactly happened aboard the Cartoush II during its pleasure cruise in the Bahamas in September 2001. Darwin Deason denies that he threatened to kill the chef. Others claim he did. “There certainly was a threat of getting a gun and doing something,” says one person intimately acquainted with the details of the incident. As for the chef, he isn’t saying much.
The 118-foot luxury yacht ostensibly belonged to Deason, founder and chairman of Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, or ACS. Deason himself had overseen a major refit of the boat the year before, which entailed reinforcing the upper deck so that it could support a massive hot tub. Playing host to his friends on the boat, Deason liked to smoke marijuana and drink the unthinkable concoction of Diet Coke and Kahlua out of a large brandy snifter. The passengers on that particular voyage, besides the captain and crew of four, included former Cowboys punter Mike Saxon and his wife Suzanne; Dallasite Carter Abercrombie and his wife Angie; and Deason. He was 61 at the time. Having recently divorced his fourth wife, he was traveling without a companion.
The Cartoush was sailing the waters off the Exuma chain of islands when the trouble started. It was in the early afternoon, and Deason, for one reason or another, flew into a rage. “The guy was definitely having a psychotic episode,” says a source. He began yelling at the chef, Vinny Feola, who locked himself in his quarters. As the standoff dragged on for hours, the ship’s captain, Don Hopkins, worked the satellite phone, frantically trying to reach someone back in Dallas who could mollify Deason. Another source says that Deason pulled Saxon and Abercrombie aside and asked them, “Would you guys be willing to beat the shit out of the chef for me if I asked you to?” …