Conrad Black vows to regain business empire

From the Globe and Mail:

Conrad Black has vowed in a court filing to regain control of what remains of his business empire, but he’s also worried there might not be much left.

This struck me as a bit strange. I have to admit my experience with court filings isn’t extensive, but I just assumed they were pretty formal, standard documents. I didn’t think they could be used for vengeful, rhetorical purposes by the filer, but somehow Conrad made it happen. I wish they’d give the direct quote from the filings where he vows to get it all back.

But I digress. What really interested me once I read further:

Last week, Lord Black filed a motion in an Ontario court asking a judge to compel Ravelston‘s receiver, RSM Richter Inc., to explain how it is protecting the firm’s assets. Lord Black alleged Richter and new managers at Hollinger International and Hollinger Inc. have spent $250-million over the past three years on professional fees. He also alleged the firms have lacked focus and devoted their time to “examining the past to see if there are litigation ‘assets’ that can be pursued.”

Basically, Hollinger is going after Black for misappropriating the company’s assets, and by doing so, Black believes they are paying too many legal and consulting fees. The litigation assets, I would imagine, are Black’s thievings, and the lawyers have probably been hired to figure out how Hollinger can get some of it back! Oh what a tangled web.


Apple brings in new director: Google’s CEO

It has been announced recently that Dr. Eric Schmidt, currently the CEO of Google, is joining Apple’s Board of Directors. Boards are responsible for overseeing management, protecting shareholder interests and overall strategy.

The move has been hailed as a signal of future partnership between Google and Apple in their joint fights against Microsoft. I have to admit it basically looks that way to me too. I would even go so far as to say a Google-Apple alliance poses the biggest threat to Microsoft’s continued dominance on the desktop, ever.

I’ve always wondered why some Boards have an even number of members, what with the possibility of vote tying. They must have some other method of resolving those situations when they inevitably crop up.

Steve Jobs is obviously an exception to most rules, but it’s rare to see someone in management on the Board in a public company, because of the inherent conflict of interest. I think Jobs is invested in Apple long-term though, so that’s no doubt why he gets away with it.