It goes without saying that the CEO is a critical part of your brand's story. The CEO has a unique opportunity to evangelize your company to both Wall Street and consumers. Some CEOs do it well (examples here, here, and here). Others have a bit to learn. And then there is Patrick Byrne.
Mr. Byrne recently appeared on CNBC to talk about his company's restatement of earnings IN THE POSITIVE (meaning earnings were better than previously stated). That's a great story to tell, right? Take a look at how Mr. Byrne took advantage of the opportunity, here.
And this isn't even the best example of how Patrick Byrne uses his megaphone to tell an increasingly bizarre story. Here's what Mark Cuban wrote about a recent conference call that Mr. Byrne conducted for Wall Street investors:
"Never before in the history of Wall Street has a single conference call mentioned the following topics: Miscreants, an unnamed Sith Lord he hopes the feds will bury under a prison, gay bath houses, whether he is gay, does cocaine, both or neither, and an obligatory, not that there is anything wrong with that, phone taps, phone lines misdirected to Mexico, arrested reporters, payoffs, conspiracies, crooks, egomaniacs, fools, paranoia, which newspapers are shills and for who, payoffs, money laundering, his Irish temper, false identities, threats, intimidation, and private investigators. All in 61 minutes."
To quote screen writer Robert McKee (from this HBR article): "It demands vivid insight and storytelling skill to present an idea that packs enough emotional power to be memorable. If you can harness imagination and the principles of a well-told story, then you get people rising to their feet amid thunderous applause instead of yawning and ignoring you."
One thing is for sure, nobody is ignoring Patrick Byrne. But is this really the best story he has to tell?