Mike versus Mike: The Psychology of Eisner and Ovitz

The Deal has a car-crash fascinating insider-y piece on the behind-the-scenes machinations in Michael Eisner’s decision to dump Mike Ovitz back in 1996. The most bizarre part is this:

According to Sid Bass, who was then Disney’s largest shareholder, Eisner didn’t fire his second-in-command, because “if he did, Ovitz would commit suicide.” When pressed about this startling claim, Bass explained that Eisner thought being fired “would be absolutely devastating to Ovitz — he was so careful of his reputation in Hollywood.” Then, as if seeking to dispel any hyperbole on his part, Bass further volunteered, “That part about Ovitz committing suicide he meant seriously.”