Testosterone Inc.: Tales of CEOs Gone Wild

Christopher Byron, Author John Wiley & Sons $27.95 (402p) ISBN 978-0-471-42005-7
A smarmy wallow in the sleaziest escapades of four powerful and highly visible CEOs, Byron's latest serves up a titillating mix of snark, sanctimony and pop psychology. In his last book, the bestselling Martha, Inc., the veteran business journalist asserted that Stewart was driven by resentment toward her brutish father and her humble roots. In this new book, Byron's analysis leads him to the loopy conclusion that his four subjects--Jack Welch, Dennis Kozlowski, Ronald Perelman and Al Dunlap--are all victims of excessive testosterone. What, Byron asks, could motivate such accomplished businessmen to jeopardize their legacies by divorcing devoted wives, siphoning corporate funds or engaging in tawdry affairs?""The answer,"" he eagerly insists,""lies not in their stars but in their skivvies."" Though Byron examined some 15,000 documents and interviewed 90 people for this book, none of his four subjects would agree to an interview for this project, so there are no first-hand accounts to corroborate (or refute) his diagnosis. But tracing the fine points of psychology, or delivering a measured analysis of business strategy, isn't really the point of this book, which aims to entertain with juicy accounts of embarrassing peccadilloes. Readers who get a chuckle out of watching rich and powerful men make fools of themselves will find plenty to like here. As for all that research: this book contains little that is especially new or valuable, unless you really care to know such details as exactly which of Welch's uncles was a drunk.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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