A lot is being made of the $125,000 per month salary that NYC OTB will pay to Greg Rayburn, its new president. It's the natural reaction I suppose to be disgusted/outraged/shocked considering that OTB is a bankrupt organization which is delaying certain payments to the racing industry, and which just recently cried that it was too broke to continue operations (not to mention still employing a prominent PR agency, an investment I might add which has gone mainly for naught if OTB's public image and perception means anything).
[UPDATE - The Times reports today, in its expose of OTB's outlandish and wasted expenditures on consultants under Sandy Frucher, that Edelman, the abovementioned PR firm, billed OTB for a total of $472,625; and that's just since last November. That was based on a rate of $300 an hour, which, according to David Vermillion, who led the agency's effort, was below their normal rate....and well spent.
“I would say that we have been very successful in executing the strategy outlined by the client, communicating complex concepts to diverse audiences and helping generate influential editorial support,” Mr. Vermillion said. [NY Times] If I hadn't already dropped the f-bomb in this post (coming right up), Vermillion would certainly get it for that masterful effort in bullshit (oh well). Indeed, I'd like to see some examples of some of that "influential editorial support" other than that contained in OTB company newsletters and press releases. Vermillion, who, as I've mentioned before, also worked on behalf of the utterly defrocked Empire Racing during the franchise bidding, is obviously little more than a highly-paid lackey who apparently delights in defending and spinning the lies of corrupt and immoral corporate crud.]
But let's face it, this is a big fucking mess which requires drastic action. And bankruptcy is a big business, so a "turnaround pro," as Rayburn is labeled in the Wall Street Journal blog, comes at a price. He's hardly new to taking the reins of distressed companies on an interim basis. Here's an excerpt from an April, 2008 article about him doing so at the Syntax-Brillian Corporation.
Mr. Rayburn has held the position of Interim CEO and COO a number of times for companies such as Sunterra Corporation, aaiPharma and Muzak Holdings LLC, where he facilitated new strategic directions, streamlined operating structures, and improved product line profitability.Since that time, Rayburn became the interim CEO at Magna, where his idea of enhancing value and improving operations was apparently to help keep Frank Stronach in control. If that's any indication, we might end up with Hazel Dukes.
"Greg’s extensive experience in enhancing value within companies and improving operations to realize growth potential will greatly benefit the company,” said James Li, President and Chief Executive Officer, Syntax-Brillian Corporation. [istockanalyst.com]