September 11th Changes CEO’s Personal and Professional Lives

Sep 11, 2002

Top executives of American companies told Bloomberg News Service that the terrorist attacks of last September 11th have affected their views on business and life.

The chief executive of Walt Disney, Michael Eisner, said “I’m seriously nervous about things that are out of my control. I’m frustrated about something I can’t do anything about.”

Philip Knight, CEO, Nike said, “My priorities have changed. I not only want to be a great shoe salesman but also a great grandfather. All that rhetoric about how nine-eleven would change the world turned out to be true for me.”

Michael McCallister, CEO, Humana readily admits to being afraid of being in tall buildings. Mr. McCallister ate dinner in the Windows on the World restaurant the evening before the World Trade Center towers fell. Speaking of a recent meeting in Sears Tower in Chicago, Mr. McCallister said, “I didn’t feel comfortable for one minute.”

Chief executive of EDS, Richard Brown watched the World Trade Center tragedy from a few miles away on the tarmac at Newark International Airport. Like many others, Mr. Brown has become more concerned with his personal security. “It brought home to me how vulnerable our nation is. It brings home family, and the mortality we all have.”

Moderator’s Comments: How have the September 11th
terrorist attacks affected our business and personal lives? What has the impact
been on those living and working outside of metro New York and Washington, DC?

The chairman of Liberty Media, John Malone, pretty much
summed up the state of business in the last year. “From Sept. 11 through the
accounting scandals, this has been one mess of a year.” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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