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CEO Life

Thorns & Roses

ROSE…Governor ROD BLAGOJEVICH’S testy refusal to step aside in the face of FBI wiretaps that reveal his attempt to auction Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder is the gift that keeps on giving. The corruption cabaret that is a centerpiece of Illinois politics in general and Chicago in particular will now have an extended media run, much to ...

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Acing The Wine List

Wine knowledge isn’t just a social skill any more. It’s a powerful tool for today’s CEOs, providing leverage in business entertaining. The Wall Street Journal observed that “Wine at business meals is a skirmish in a boardroom war, played out on a linen table cloth. Your handling of wine, whether ordering it or just drinking it, matters more than you ...

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Lessons from Luxury Travel

There’s really only one word to describe Machu Picchu, and Ingram Chodorow uses it as he steps off a bus having just toured the Inca empire’s ruins. “Spectacular,” he says. “Just spectacular.” But that’s not the only thing he had on his mind that day. He was also thinking about distribution. Chodorow is the chairman, president and CEO of Placontrol ...

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Roadster Roundup

Roadsters are the quintessential driving machines. Two doors and two seats, a powerful engine, taut suspension and a movable roof are all you really need if you want to focus on the thrill of being behind the wheel. But if you’re reserving a precious spot in your garage for something meant only to deliver pure fun, it must be a ...

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Fueling The Fire For Crossovers

Luxury consumers and carmakers alike are converging on the sweet spot of the upscale automotive market: crossovers that combine the drivability of a sedan with the roominess of a utility vehicle and are packed with the amenities that big ticket buyers demand. Testifying to their growing appeal, sales of crossovers-also known as “crossover utility vehicles”-were up about 20 percent in 2007 ...

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Lowdown on Executive Perquisites

It was Thanksgiving last week. And at least one CEO chose to get into the holiday mood writing a fun blog, albeit on a sensitive subject: Executive perquisites. David Chun, CEO of Equilar, the Redwood Shores, California-based company that specializes in benchmarking executive and board pay and a NASDAQ strategic alliance partner decided to let his readers “get a kick ...

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The Lure of the Vines

Many CEOs dream of jettisoning the constant pressure of their day jobs for the pleasure of running a business that indulges a personal passion. Owning or running a winery gives many top executives the opportunity to live that fantasy. It’s an industry that embodies social cache, glamour and lifestyle. And how many jobs justify the constant sampling of delicious wines ...

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Big Deal Luxury Wheels

For practically minded CEOs, $40,000 to $50,000 luxury sedans are the sweet spot of the automotive market these days. Part of the reason is that other contenders are fading. Behemoth SUVs, for example, scream “gas hog,” well appointed though they might be. Six-figure cruisers bespeak excess in an environment today where the CEO wants to be seen as anything but ...

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Tom Ryder Gets Grilled

To say that Tom Ryder takes barbecue seriously is an understatement. Our first conversation on the topic began with him cautioning me against tossing the terms “grilling” and “barbecuing” about indiscriminately when they are actually two very different things. Grilling, explains the former chairman of Reader’s Digest Association, “is cooking directly over a hot fire for a brief period of ...

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Cruise Control

When not at the helm of HD Brown Enterprises in Ontario, Douglas Brown is likely to be found steering-literally-a very different ship. Last spring, he captained a 47-foot catamaran to island-hop in the Caribbean with his family. A few months later, he toured the Greek Isles at the wheel of a 39-foot Beneteau yacht with his wife, Sandee, in the ...

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