A World Held Hostage: Day Five Comment Count

Brian January 9th, 2011 at 11:45 AM


Les pun barrage avoided. The mandarins at LSU are sticking to their story that no one's talking to them about talking to Les Miles. The chancellor's version of yesterday's statement by the AD:

“No one has said anything to me,” Martin said. “But of course a lot of these things are done with agents now, behind the scenes.”

Just like LSU's recruiting. Hey-o!

It's contagious. Jennifer Hammond was patient zero in the Michigan edition of Fruitless Jon Gruden Naming but it's spreading: I have more than one account from actual sources indicating Michigan did interview him yesterday. With Gruden an interview is usually a brief conversation about how this guy makes more money than God by saying generic things on Monday Night Football, so don't get excited. I can't believe I'm actually relaying information about Gruden and Michigan but I guess if we've deployed flight tracking Gruden couldn't have been far behind.

If, like me, you've become inured to the constant Gruden-to-everywhere speculation that seems like it's been a major feature of American culture for the last fifty years you may be surprised to find out that he's a youthful 47 and could actually be plausible in a Pete Carroll sort of way.

Speaking of flights. So the winged helmet plane that touched down in Baton Rouge when Miles was in Dallas was there for all of two hours, then took off for South Carolina. What's in South Carolina? Um… well… a few days ago it was relayed to me that Lloyd Carr was in South Carolina. He supposedly has a vacation home at Hilton Head (restaurant to the stars!). The plane flew to… Hilton Head. It then went to a regional airport in Georgia, back to Hilton Head, headed out to Westchester County, and then went back to Hilton Head.

Ironically, Carr lit out for South Carolina because he was sick of people claiming he was the nefarious power behind the throne and just wanted to get away from everything and now a plane with a winged helmet painted on it is using his location as a hub. This is either

  • an amazing coincidence, or
  • David Brandon smoothing over Les Miles with Lloyd Carr and random incredibly wealthy NYC-based booster who is probably Stephen Ross.

Since a good source says Brandon actually is using the winged helmet plane—Dominos was a ruse!—I lean towards the latter; this seems like a fact corroborating the Les Miles buzz. I may have to apologize to Tiger Droppings.



January 9th, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

DB hits the road with LM to meet up with Carr and Ross to strengthen ties, interview, stroke fragile egos, and get the blessing of the old-guard loyalists.  Sound like a plan?


January 9th, 2011 at 12:13 PM ^

DB: "Hey Lloyd, you enjoying retirement?"

LC: "What kind of a stupid question is that?"

DB: "Haha, touche, old friend. Well, since I have agents everywhere interviewing people for this coaching thingamajig, I have free use of the Michigan jet. Wanna join me in Baton Rouge?"

LC: "Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?"

DB: <awkward pause> "I'll take that as a yes. I'll pick you up in a bit. Oh, and bring some beads."

LC: "Tremendous."


January 9th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

Make it stop, DB, hire somebody and make this madness stop. I'm on vacation between jobs and so I don't even have work to distract me from following every morsel of rumor and innuendo!


January 9th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

may be the smartest person living in SC.  From my mom, who retired to Charleston, and is now looking to get the Hell out of there:

"South Carolina is the capital of dumb."


January 9th, 2011 at 12:19 PM ^

I have from a source I trust from among the company's mid-executives that Dominos would not allow Brandon to use a company-owned plane to conduct business for Michigan; it would be a violation.

The source also noted that he doesn't know of Dominos owning a jet for corporate purposes (they've rented) -- that their owned planes mostly carry small cargo. But he is less sure about that than the policy. He was amused that we were tracking their plane.

It seems infinitely more likely that we were chasing a cargo of pepporoni than Michigan's AD across the country.

Captain Obvious

January 9th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

at all by public companies is becoming increasingly rare.  It's pretty amazing that DB has access as a former CEO at all, even if he is currently the non-employee chairman.  Shareholders have been freaking out about this issue progressively more over the years, voting out directors for excessive perquisites, etc.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

...is wrong.  According to this, Brandon retains usage of the Domino's corporate jet for 35 hours of personal use per calendar year through the end of Domino's FY2011 (assuming the terms of Brandon's agreement are the same as Doyle's agreement with respect to the number of allowed personal hours). Regardless, he gets personal use hours. 

Tomorrow is his last day on the Domino's payroll as "Special Advisor to the President and CEO", by the way. 

Zone Left

January 9th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

35 hours of flight time is pretty small when you're travelling across the country.  He's probably got about 10 flights depending on where he's going--especially since civilian airplanes count any time the engines are running--even on the ground.


January 9th, 2011 at 3:59 PM ^

True, but "engines running on the ground" time is pretty limited when you're flying private.

Since you're not dealing with interminable boarding processes and people trying to stuff steamer trunks into the overhead compartment, the time from boarding to wheels up is pretty brief.  Add in smaller executive airports and not competing with commercial carriers for taxi slots, as well.

I've had the pleasure of flying private for roadshows for various bond deals, and it beats commercial on so many levels, not least of which is the lack of waiting around to leave.  You show up, you leave.  Pretty nice.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

Meanwhile, David Brandon, the departing CEO, will remain on the Dominos payroll for a while.  For starters, even though he’s turning over the reins to Doyle next Monday, he’ll earn his regular base salary of $70,621.83 for the month of March (the calculation comes from the 2009 proxy). After that, he’ll earn $25,000 per month in the newly created role of “Special Advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer”, a position that will last through January 10, 2011. He will also continue to participate in the Annual Incentive Plan, and he keeps the right to use his “Yearly Aircraft Hours” on the company’s plane through the end of FY 2011, or until he stops serving on Dominos’ board.

from: http://www.footnoted.com/my-big-fat-deal/freshly-baked-employment-agree…

Captain Obvious

January 9th, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

of the aircraft is the only non-market provision here.

The continued base salary is severance (golden parachute if u want to be pejorative, your choice) and is actually way below the norm - most CEOs get around 2 years of their base salary or a lump sum of a couple million. 

The special advisor bit is completely standard and again a pretty low amount - most are around 50-75k/month, usually for around 6 months.  Just about every outgoing CEO is kept on in a consulting role to help the transition to new leadership (*strongly resists urge to bash DB more*).

"Continued participation in the annual incentive plan" is almost certainly vaguely-worded to sound sinister.  In incentive plans, you have to meet certain performance goals to earn the bonus - if not it isn't deductible in amounts over 1MM under Code Section 162(m).  More than likely he will earn a pro-rated bonus based on his partial year under the plan.  Some severance agreements grant the entire year's bonus, but it's pretty rare.  He can't and won't participate in the AIC beyond this year.

As I said, continued use of the plane is odd and will piss off shareholders (and ISS, Glass-Lewis, etc.) quite a bit.  Some outgoing executives ask for weird shit though.  I had one DEMAND to keep his blackberry in his severance agreement.