Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Retail Bob

I never knew Macy's had stockholders. From Time Magazine, November 24, 1952:

When stockholders filed into R. H. Macy & Co.'s annual meeting in Manhattan last week, they spotted a new, but familiar face on the board: Actor Robert Montgomery, who was elected to Macy's board last September. In no time at all, Bob Montgomery found himself playing a big scene in which he was cast as the villain. What, demanded heckling stockholders, was he doing there anyway?

Replied Montgomery: "I've been in the business and professional field for 30 years. Whatever my talents are, they are at Macy's service." To which a lady replied dryly from the floor: "Thank you, Mr. Montgomery. I see you still have the gift of gab." Then, Lewis D. Gilbert, who owns stock in 600-odd corporations, including twelve shares in Macy's, and makes an avocation of harassing corporate boards, threw a question at President Jack I. Straus: "What does Mr. Montgomery know about merchandising?" Straus tried to defend Montgomery's qualifications as a director. After all, he said, several of the other directors had not known much about retailing when they had joined the board. Snorted Gilbert: "Maybe that's what's wrong with Macy's." . . .

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