Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

they were making up a report on what foreign possibilities there were. I said, “Well, what do you want from us?" “Well, we want to determine what the foreign possibilities are for Random House books.” I said, “We don't need you for that.” We got rid of these clowns pretty fast, but I'm sure that they're wasting busy people's time right now in some other division of RCA.

But RCA is pretty good compared with other companies. We must have only about seventy-five vice-presidents. Other companies have about 200, it seems to me. There's one company they say has thirty-five vice-presidents. Thirty-four do various things. The thirty-fifth one is there to show the other thirty-four where the men's room is.

Parkinson's Law, you know, applies to these big corporations. An old wind bag can always hold on to a job at a big corporation by brown-nosing the president and the chairman of the board.

Q:

Oh, how do you like board members who do nothing?

Cerf:

Boards of directors are a great haven for retired generals and college presidents because once they've retired from military or university posts they've got little to do but rest on their reputations. You'll find them scattered all through the top echelons of big corporations, shooting off their mouths, getting in everybody's way, and drawing





© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help