Articles about corporate politics and drama
April 19, 2019 10:53 AM   Subscribe

I recently enjoyed this article about the internal drama within Facebook and would like to read more like it.

I'm particularly interested in things like crisis management, boardroom coups, and executive ousters--the more dramatic and underhanded the better--as viewed from the inside. It doesn't have to involve silicon valley, just large and powerful companies and the machinations within. I might also be interested in nonfiction books of this nature. Where can I read more?
posted by dephlogisticated to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
It's older, but one of the great classics of the genre is Barbarians at the Gate about the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco.

✔️Crisis management
✔️Boardroom coups
✔️Executive ousters
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:02 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]

You absolutely should read “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou, about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:03 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]

(I also asked a similar question here last year looking for books on the financial crisis and businesses gone bad, and there are a ton of books recommended in the replies!)
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:05 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]

Definitely look at the answers to skycrashesdown's question.

Also, The Informant.
posted by praemunire at 11:12 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]

DisneyWar by James B. Stewart may have everything you're looking for. It's a really detailed look at Michael Eisner's rise and fall at Disney, including all the intrigue involved with the Disney family, a very wimpy board of directors, and lots and lots of executives hired and fired by Eisner, mostly at his own whims.
posted by xingcat at 11:40 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]

It doesn't have to involve silicon valley, just large and powerful companies and the machinations within. I might also be interested in nonfiction books of this nature.

Andrew Willis and Douglas Goold's The Bre-X Fraud is a pretty good read, and fairly short (Bre-X was the name of the company that was at the centre of a huge stock market scandal in the 1990s). This tale ticks the "underhanded" box many times over, from the people running the company to the stock analysts who were covering it.

skycrashesdown's previous AskMe mentions Michael Lewis's books. They're all good, but don't overlook Liar's Poker, which is less recent but has aged pretty well as a cautionary tale.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:45 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]

Great Wired piece by John Heileman about the Microsoft antitrust case and the browser wars (later turned into a book): THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
posted by sallybrown at 12:16 PM on April 19

Also the film The Insider if you haven’t seen it—it’s magnificent.
posted by sallybrown at 12:17 PM on April 19

I devoured this article about Vice Media
posted by like_neon at 12:25 PM on April 19

Slightly different, but I liked Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble.
posted by salvia at 3:19 PM on April 19

The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for Late Night.

The book was also turned into an HBO movie, which is kind of fun. Kathy Bates (as Jay Leno's manager Helen Kushnick) won a Golden Globe and SAG award for her performance.
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:31 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

Probably worth reading Bloomberg News, and the FT.

E.g.: The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought

Matt Levine’s free email newsletter “Money Stuff” also from Bloomberg, is a fascinating and light-hearted look at finance and corporate news. (Subscription link at the bottom.)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:09 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

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