John Antioco and Carl Icahn Duke It Out Over Failure of Blockbuster

A FrontBurnervian who doesn’t make good basketball bets points us to a back-and-forth on the Harvard Business Review‘s site between John Antioco and Carl Icahn. Antioco, the CEO at the helm when the ship went down, and Icahn, the activist investor who bristled at Antioco’s enormous compensation, both wrote a story for the magazine about why Blockbuster sank. Then Antioco responded to Icahn in the comments online.

Antioco on his compensation:

It’s always struck me as strange that it’s okay for Carl and others to make billions on their version of truth and justice, but CEOs making a lot of money, usually on stock appreciation, is “egregious” (one of Carl’s favorite words).

And on his work ethic, which Icahn criticized:

I’m not sure what lead to his assessment, but of all the criticism I’ve received in my life (much of which was justified) I have never heard that one before. To use another one of Carl’s favorite expressions “I take umbrage at that remark”. Carl works hard (in his unique style and fashion) and so do I.

I’m sure all this witty repartee delights the hundreds of mid-level folks at Blockbuster who are now looking for work.

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