That Guy
That Guy is a Herald on Sunday columnist

That Guy: High-flying chief executive to land at Moon HQ

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

There has been a lot of speculation recently about the future of super chief executive Rob Fyfe. Well, I may as well leak it before you read it in other less reliable news sources - he will be joining my operational team as acting CEO.

Moon Television Enterprises is the holding company I run all my business through - television projects, corporate work, multimedia, offshore investments and even the day-to-day running of this column.

The one exception is the Jandal factory in Thailand.

That is run through a sister company called Rubber Flex, though the Jandal presses are leased from Moon Holdings, an umbrella company with a majority shareholding in the Moon group.

Rob's goal will be to simplify my operation, to make it more profitable, and less carcinogenic. As Rob said at his initial job interview: "There is a very fine line between a super-brand and a crap brand," and from that I assumed he wants to ensure we remain a super brand.

I originally contacted Rob some months ago when I learned he might be moving on from Air New Zealand. I actually phoned him about an upgrade I was hoping to get on a flight to Los Angeles. This hadn't come through as I had used up all my necessary air points on duty-free. He didn't seem to understand the logic that although I didn't have enough points for an upgrade, if I flew to LA in business or first class instead of economy, I could then use the accumulated points from that trip to pay for the original upgrade.

I reminded him about my dedication to Air NZ over the years, working with the Rico puppet and helping to promote its fantastic award-winning wines, but eventually we got talking about him and his plans.

Rob told me he was proud of what he had achieved with Air NZ, but felt he needed a fresh challenge.

After a few minutes, I managed to bring the conversation back to me and my long-term aspirations for my company. As I was doing this, I suddenly knew this man had something that would make all the difference to my operation - so I just blurted out: "Rob, do you have $250,000 I can borrow?"

I had no qualms about doing this, as I knew Rob would appreciate it was only business. I was asking him for a personal loan, but it wasn't "personal".

To his credit, he didn't say "no" right away - he said nothing for at least 20 seconds, but eventually asked what I would use the money for.

I explained that $250,000 would be used mainly as bridging funding until we got back in sync with the correct financial year, as we were operating in the wrong one.

I also explained how a good chunk would be used to set up the new project department, a division that looks after the day-to-day running of all the projects we don't have yet.

It was around this time that Rob said he was extremely interested in what we were doing, how we were doing it, and more importantly why we were doing it. He suggested we reverse the order of those questions whenever we do anything. Since we have adopted this approach, we have launched into 80 per cent fewer projects, yet we have been 2000 per cent more profitable.

I gave Rob a little background on the company; how up until just last week we had employed someone else in the CEO role by the name of Kim underscore//

Kim was extremely positive, in fact you could say he was a glass half-full guy. However, as we learned to our detriment when the glass was too often half-full of rubbish, it tends to take the positive spin off the analogy. You could say Kim was the complete opposite of Rob.

Rob will come in as associate CEO, and this will free up my time, allowing me to meet deadlines and get back on the coalface with the team where I belong. Rob will also be responsible for filling the beer fridge on Fridays.

- Herald on Sunday

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