I know this sounds like a line out of the Godfather, but let me offer it as a warning to CEOs: Don't mess with the family.
Particularly if the company you're running is controlled or at least heavily influenced by the family.
Take Carly Fiorina over at Hewlett-Packard.
She goes ahead with this big $20 billion merger with Compaq and guess what? It turns out the family is not impressed.
First the son of company co-founder William Hewlett tells Carly, sorry, this deal stinks.
Then a few hours later, David Packard, Jr., you guessed it, the son of the other co-founder said, Carly, I got a problem too.
Now the deal's in danger and maybe because Carly or somebody there didn't work hard enough to sell it to the family — still large shareholders.
It's just the latest battle with the bloodlines.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Jaques Nasser was pushed out of Ford not so much because Ford was hurting, but — and this is just my opinion — because he cut the dividend.
That didn't sit well with the Ford family — still huge shareholders in the automaker.
My point is this: Don't mess with the family. Because in the end, they'll make a mess of you.
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