Thursday, January 24, 2008

Martin Lukes Goes to Jail

My father is always criticizing me for not reading the Atlanta newspaper and keeping up with the local news. I blame it on the fact that I grew up here in the eighties. My memories of local news coverage run something along the lines of "Atlanta Zoo initiates program where local children can come and 'Watch TV with (local gorilla) Willie B'." Lately, my hometown and the surrounding 'burbs (OTP) have proven nationally newsworthy with such diverse personages and events as the Mansion Madam, the Runaway Bride and the Michael Vick dog-fighting charges.

Nevertheless, it never occurred to me that I would pick up the pages of the Financial Times, that daily broadsheet of the dismal science, and realize that I had missed out on the daily goings on of a juicy trial taking place in my own back yard. Today, I was introduced to "the great chief leader" of Atlanta-based multi-national a-b global, the iconic thought leader and world-class communicator, who re-defined management thinking with his foundational concepts: creovative(tm) and integethical(tm).

According to the FT, Mr. Lukes has just been sentenced to 2 years and three months in federal prison on three counts of insider trading, which he will likely serve in FCI Coleman, a correctional complex in central Florida.

4 comments:

Juha Lindfors said...

Indeed, it is exciting to see Atlanta on the international scene ;-)

Apparently the tens of thousand of USD worth of jewelery was still successfully argued by the lawyers to be a legitimate business expense.

I've yet to figure out how that works.

Anonymous said...

Your post was so straight I wonder if you know that Martin Lukes is fictional. The entire FT is in on it and they decided to do the entire coverage straight even though he doesn't exist.

The columnist seems to want to end it and went out with a bang.

I've been following it for years, but you can get a quick summary on Wikipedia.

Nathalie said...

Sad, but true, I was completely taken in by the entire spread (never saw it before today) to the point of emailing my real-estate agent:

"Virginia, have you ever heard of this Martin Lukes fellow? Ex-CEO of a-b global and resides in Atlanta. Wonder where he lives and if they'll be selling the house for a deal, now that he's off to prison."

Only in googling a-b global did I get hep to the jive. This is my favorite summary from KW Schreiter on Amazon.com:

"Lucy Kellaway's fictional 'Martin Lukes' character is the delightfully vapid, narcissistic director of marketing at a-b global who appears in Thursday editions of London's Financial Times newspaper.... Instead of doing actual work, Martin flatters superiors, flirts with personal assistants and offers unsolicited self-promotion to everyone. He hires CoachworX! for an Executive Bronze Life Coaching Program to 'achieve performance levels that are 22.5 percent better than the very best I can be.'
a-b global's CEO gives a speech to staff and investors from a golf course as the share price plummets and signs his e-mails 'I love you all'. The firm spends over $20 million on Project Rebrand and hires 12 rebranding consultants from Beyond the Box, but eventually obtains its new name from employee suggestions generated during a corporate 'on line jamming session'. Martin then spearheads the ill-fated Project Boxer Shorts to publicly donate obsolete corporate apparel featuring the old logo to homeless shelters."

All the bestest,
Nathalie
(willing to admit when she's taken in by a good story)

Juha Lindfors said...

Nathalie,

As an ex-propagandist, you may be interested in the following documentary Century of the Self to find out how Public Relations was born.

That is if you're not already familiar with it, I found it interesting :-)