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Board Betrayal: The Weirton Steel Story: Failed Governance and Management Hand in Hand with Arthur Andersen: An Esop Fable Paperback – April 1, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phillip Smith served on the Weirton Board for eleven years and publicly criticized its continual failure of prudent governance. In Board Betrayal, he shares a tale of irresponsibility, ignorance, conflict of interest, and deceit. Smith reveals what happens behind top management’s closed doors and self-serving corporate boardrooms and how the actions of a few in power can destroy the dreams of so many.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Ladlesheet Press (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923568514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923568511
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This story broke my heart. My family has served at Weirton Steel for over three generations from the ranks of the hourly to the in-house engineering staff, to the management team. The account of Phil Smith has been known for a while, but this is the first time I have seen it in print. Hopefully, business students will take these events to heart to prevent a future tragedy such as this.
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Format: Paperback
I found Philip Smith's book to be a factual, detailed, and data-driven account of a promising company (and town) wrecked by unadulterated personal greed. While I have never met Mr. Smith, I do know several of the principles named in the book and Mr. Smith describes them accurately and honestly.

The book is a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes behaviors of senior management. Unfortunately, it is not all that clear what lessons can be taken away from the event. Honesty and fair-dealing cannot be injected into scoundrels like a vaccine. And when a majority of board members decide to loot the corporation for their own gain, what can realistically be done?

I do know that the aftermath has been devastating to Weirton, and its future is very uncertain. And after living there during the glory days, it is very strange to come back and see the devastation that has become my little town.
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Your blood will boil at the betrayal of not only the employees of Weirton Steel but the whole Steel Industry of the United States of America by a New York Lawyer (Harvey Sperry)and his puppet--CEO Herb Elish. Original CEO Loughhead made ESOP owned Weirton Steel profitable and employee/shareholders ecstatic at the success of the business and appreciative of a CEO who respected his employees. Bob Loughhead saved 2 towns by steering Weirton Steel on the road to recovery and saving the jobs of thousands of people. Harvey Sperry deposed a hero in order to install Herb Elish; a "yes" man he could control. Sperry convinced the unions to provide him sensitive information that he shared with a foreign competitior that orchestrated the end of America's Steel Industry.

The machinations of the Machevellian Sperry and his nuanced methods to a profitable end for himself and his hidden clients is a soul shattering read. This true life account of the death of a steel mill and the 2 towns dependent upon the jobs it provided is a glimpse inside the reality of the "Turning of the Screw": a sinister man manipulating an Executive Board and the Steel Union to its own destruction.
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Given that my family worked in the Weirton Mill from 1910 to 1976, we heard a lot of the stories of what happened when National Steel lost it's way, and forgot that it was in Steel, not in everything else. The empolyees tried to save their plant, but management, as always, looks out for management first! Even when the Unions and the workers made concessions, they were sold down the river as the mill has now been sold over the ocean to India. When will we learn not to trust the "New World Order" but to guard our skills, our people and our industries first? Now Weirton is well on the way to being a ghost town, as all the upper Ohio Valley. Traditions, sweat and blood count for nothing when the almighty dollar, yen, or Euro are involved, and more folks on the outside are going to be taking that same ride soon if you don't learn to stand against the oligarchs and plutocrats....
Definitely a well written and worthy addition to your bookshelf!
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