Monday, November 13, 2006

Harold Hughes, learn from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Dear Mr. Hughes:

One year ago (November '05), Governor Schwarzenegger was the object of late night jokes and coffee house derision, having had his butt resoundedly kicked when California voters rejected his slate of reforms in a special election. Fast forward to November '06, Arnold is back with a landslide re-election victory in a political climate most unfavorable to his party. Why? Because Arnold cares and did something about it.

Humility. Arnold conceded that he was wrong. Daniel Weintraub, writing for the Sacramento Bee describes Arnold's humility as "not a one-time admission," rather "like a man in therapy, the governor seemed to draw strength from repeating time and time again that he had made a mistake, seen the error of his ways, and changed."

Then Arnold went to work and did his job with as Weintraub describes it as "smarter, more collaborative. Less brawn, more brain."

Respectfully, I suggest that you, Mr. Hughes, should study Arnold.

You took a beating when Rambus Inc.'s largest non-insider shareholder Stuart Steele sold the lion's share of his holdings. A beating you ask? Yes, a very large vote of no confidence. It is rumored that Mr. Steele sold for a variety of reasons, including being tired of spending hours a day worrying his mouse and getting a tan from his computer monitor. Mr. Steele does not share his thoughts with Any Donkey, but even a Donkey can figure that Mr. Steele had better opportunities.

You bumbled when hired help to pass a plan that authorized doling out nearly ten percent of the float to insiders. You stumbled when you blasted a shareholder at the 2006 annual meeting. You fell, when you failed to apologize for being out of touch and rude.

You are at the helm as Rambus Inc. flounders with its misdating options mess. To your credit, you apologized to us shareholders and promised to steer Rambus honest and true.

Now, what should you do?

1) Study Arnold.

2) Exude humility. Admit you bumbled.

3) Apologize to the shareholder, you know who, that you Mr Hughes, directed your rude response.

4) Apologize to the shareholders for failing to communicate why it is necessary to be able to dole out 10% of the company to those with company parking spaces. It was wrong to ram it down our throats without explanation. Your assessment may have been correct, but make an effort to educate us.

5) Mend your fence with Stuart Steele. More brains and less brawn, please.

6) Finish the misdating mess now and apologize again. Learn from Arnold.

7) Be thankful for the Ramboids. Without us, Rambus would be a penny stock.

8) Read My Bad: 25 Years of Public Apologies and the Appalling Behavior That Inspired Them. I mailed it to you today.

Have a wonderful week.

Yours, Any Donkey.

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