Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Nothing funny
@ comic headquarters


I'm at a loss to figure out how a risk management practitioner could have predicted, and avoiding, a situation that must be turning Archie's orange hair grey.

According to an Associated Press story by Jennifer Peltz, the owners of the comic book company that produces the Archie comics has two co-CEOs, and the two co-CEOs are warring against each other.

The battle is no laughing matter and now is before the New York courts.

The two contenders before the bench are the grandson of one of the 70-year-old organization's founders and the widow of the other founder's son (the AP article apparently skipped a generation.

The problem goes beyond the squabbling relatives-by-marriage; the small company is in jeopardy. According to one of the battling CEO's, ""An iconic American company is in serious danger of failing and being liquidated."

The obvious "avoidance measure" is to avoid co-owners or at least to have one owner superior to the other, with buy-out options. For Archie Comic Publications, there was supposed to be a separation of duties; the AP article states that one co-CEO was to oversee scholastic and live theatrical endeavors. while the other would have final say on everything else. Each controls 50 percent of the company."

There are 25 people staffing the company's headquarters whose livelihoods are endangered. Additionally, consider the vendors and clients - the outlets for the comic.

This "who's on first" feud is far outside the realm of a business continuity practitioner and, to this scrivener, adds one more reason to promote enterprise risk management - an umbrella covering all threats to "business as usual."

The issue is one that, had a risk management practitioner been involved early on, might have raised a warning flag for the lawyers; the legal staff might have cobbled something together to prevent the present finger pointing and dates before the state courts. Certainly it is not the risk management practitioner's job to draw up a contract - that's a job for the lawyers, and no one should expect the risk management practitioner to be a legal expert. BUT perhaps a risk management practitioner might have foreseen the possibility of a feud between equals and encouraged the lawyers to create contracts to avoid court battles.

Rather like a pre-nuptial agreement.

If I wrote it, you may quote it.

Longer articles at https://sites.google.com/site/johnglennmbci/

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