February 07, 2005
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The plaintiffs pointed to clashes with other top executives, elitist behavior at company retreats, extravagant expenses such as $2 million office renovation and attempts to obtain a position with Sony Entertainment during his employment as legitimate reasons why he should not have been entitled to the severance package. They also produced internal memos written by Eisner that said "He (Ovitz) is a psychopath. Doesn't know right from wrong. Cannot tell the truth." Ovitz countered that he was not given sufficient support by Eisner and that the position was not as described. The Disney company and directors seem to be saying that while there were insufficient reasons to fire Ovitz “for cause”, the $140 million was well spent to get rid of him.
This case could have major repercussions on future liability for members of boards regarding executive compensation and severance packages. In the context of this article, it is clear that Michael Ovitz was not a good fit for Eisner and Disney, an expensive lesson for the company.
Testing personality types can also be used for match mating services. E-harmony is a firm that goes beyond the online dating services. E-harmony's proprietary matching model finds people who are compatible with clients taking into consideration 29 Dimensions that determine long-term success. These dimensions are broken down into the following 4 major categories Character & Constitution, Personality Emotional Makeup & Skills and Family & Values. Clients fill out a Relationship Questionnaire (~500 questions) and receive a free Personality Profile that shows how they are seen by others and highlights relationship strengths and weaknesses. The profile helps client learn more about themselves and their ideal partner and allowing the firm to match them with highly compatible singles. E-harmony places compatible persons in contact with one another, initially anonymously. The company charges $50 the first month and discounts for multiple month agreements.
The company began in April 2000. Today around 5 million have registered and there are probably 1 million active clients. On December 20th E-Harmony announced that it had raised $110 million in VC funding, more than enough to make an EDA startup jealous.
Do you feel richer?
According to the Commerce Department personnel income rose by 3.6% in December. This increase was due principally to a $32 billion dividend from Microsoft. This amount rivaled the $38 billion in federal tax rebate mailed out in 2001. This distribution of cash is not expected to result in any significant increase in consumer spending. The Commerce Department estimates that a quarter of the money will be distributed to businesses, state and local governments and foreign residents. Not everyone is a beneficiary. There are some very wealthy people among the stockholders of record. For example, Bill Gates is slated to receive about $3 billion. He has said that he intends to donate this to his charitable foundation.
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