How Win Friends & Influence Board Members

Conrad Black’s Hollinger vs Hollinger case is underway in Delaware, and it is predictably juicy. The gist of the three-day trial in Delaware’s Chancery Court is that Hollinger International (not Black) is trying to block the sale of Hollinger Inc. (Black-controlled) to the Barclay Brothers of Britain.

Hollinger International board members have taken heat for their “flexible” history with respect to Conrad’s prior edicts. According to testimony from former SEC chair Richard Breeden today, Black had ways of making people agree:

“I’ve heard [Black] start several meetings by saying he’d sue every individual member of the board of they didn’t go along with what he wanted.”

Not only that, he apparently made faces at board members and taunted them mercilessly:

One conversation “began with Mr. Black glaring at us … He said he’d fix their wagon good, [although] those weren’t his exact words.”