That expression, “...left his post to pursue his own ventures,” is usually a euphemistic way of saying, “You’re fired.” The company’s Managing Director, Paul Rouseau, a frequent Fox Business News personality, is also pursuing his own ventures as are many other former top executives who presided over the May Company’s financial collapse inherited by Jacobs and the May family lawyers in 2010.
As one of the replacement senior executives put it to me, in an email confirming the company’s demise, “I left at the beginning of the year, but it was a slow, painful end to a once great company. 2010 was like sitting on the deck of the Titanic watching people rearrange the deck chairs while the band played on.”
The Ridge building has a cornerstone: “1960.” Eisenhower, a golf enthusiast, was leaving office. Cadillacs were 22 feet long. Gasoline cost pennies. Business had boomed. Inside the conservative office building, a photo mural of golf’s greats inspired awe. I never knew whether to genuflect or salute when I entered and breathed in that 1960s air.
It has been said that the Kushnir-Rouseau regime monitored every phone call and every email. Yelling was the preferred mode of communication. The way they saw it, clients needed to be controlled by analysts and consultants. Intimidation meant control.
Israel Kushnir made an impression on me in an awkward moment at the Ridge, as I stood outside the training building on a cigarette break with a colleague during a conference. A dapper and bald gent strode across the parking lot and pointed at me.
“Stop smoking,” he declared, briskly.
“Grow hair,” I exhaled.
He passed me, smiled, and entered the building. My colleague bit his lip, trying not to laugh. “Do you know who that is?” he choked. “That’s the president of the company.”
Paul Rouseau convinced me to pursue my own interests that Christmas.