The extraordinary rise and fall of Vivendi Universal's flamboyant CEO, Jean-Marie Messier.
Jean-Marie Messier has been called the most ambitious French empire builder since Napoleon. He started as a bureaucrat at a sleepy French water utilit The extraordinary rise and fall of Vivendi Universal's flamboyant CEO, Jean-Marie Messier.
Jean-Marie Messier has been called the most ambitious French empire builder since Napoleon. He started as a bureaucrat at a sleepy French water utility, but he dreamed of being a global media mogul like Rupert Murdoch. And like Napoleon, he shocked the world with his accomplishments-until his inevitable downfall.
In just six years, through guile, luck, and clever accounting, Messier managed to gobble up media assets as diverse as MCA Records, Universal Studios, USA Networks, and various publishers, theme parks, videogame producers, and Internet companies on both sides of the Atlantic. He turned Vivendi Universal into a serious challenger to AOL Time Warner, News Corp., Viacom, and Disney. And in the process, he became a poster boy for the new economy, and one of the few European CEOs to act like a swaggering American.
But in 2002, everything fell apart. In The Man Who Tried to Buy the World, Jo Johnson and Martine Orange-the reporters who blew the lid off the story and often clashed with Messier-offer a page-turning narrative of the arrogant CEO's demise. The book details Messier's incredible hubris, which led him to buy more assets than he could possibly manage, while drowning his company in debt. It describes the dramatic boardroom coup that forced Messier out and explores Messier's fascinating relationships with two prominent Americans who became his partners-Edgar Bronfman, Jr., and Barry Diller. ...Continua Nascondi