When last we left our discussion of Camping World and retired NASCAR driver Mark Martin, Mark Martin had tweeted that he’d received a phone call from Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis who claimed his comments were “misrepresented.”
Snopes did a FACT CHECK of the whole mess and concluded:
Lemonis certainly did not say that anyone who supports or generally agrees with President Trump should not shop at his stores. However, contrary to his own inaccurate descriptions of his CNBC interview, Lemonis did strongly appear to have suggested that anyone who agreed with President Trump’s controversial remarks about the events of 12 August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, should not shop at his stores.
I’d quibble over President Trump’s remarks being “controversial” since it was the media that created the narrative they were controversial in the first place. But there you go.
Lemonis also did this Periscope. If you like watching a highly paid CEO squirm, I recommend it. If you want to save some time, in summary, “if you agree with the violence that happened in Charlottesville, I’m not OK with that.” In other words, this highly compensated and very bright individual would like you to know that VIOLENCE = BAD.
Well thank you very much for that insight, Mr. Lemonis!
What I wanted to mention is the proclivity of CEOs of large companies to pop off a the mouth and then be shocked when faced with the consequences of their actions.
Why is this? I’ve know quite a few CEOs of large companies in my day and every one of them felt they were they only smart one in the company. The reason was that when they spoke, people took action in the direction the CEO wanted and no one ever questioned the decision. It’s pretty gratifying to have people treat you pretty much as a demigod.
Whatever the CEO wanted to do, people lined up like sheep behind them. Why? THEY WANTED TO KEEP THEIR JOBS!
CEOs, however, are not demigods and they are as likely to say or do something really stupid as the next person. The difference is that their staff contains the error or the company just goes ahead and rolls with it.
Some CEOs decide that they should use their power for good such as Marcus Lemonis, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and Mark Cuban. This rarely ends well for them. They are shocked, shocked I tell you, when mere mortals such as ourselves demonstrate how stupidly they’ve acted. And they don’t like it one bit!
Most CEOs figured out early as they climbed the corporate ladder that keeping their mouths shut on matters that don’t affect their companies was a really important skill.
That’s not to say that CEOs don’t have opinions and air them. The opinions of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, to name a few, are very well known. But they also know the line between expressing a personal opinion and saying something that craters their stock price!
As some old Greek dude once said:
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak
The good news for us is that these CEOs won’t — they’re incapable of it — so in this era of social media, WE GET TO MOCK THEM. But don’t do it with your current employer! Need I say “Google”?