Dave Brandon does exit interview with Detroit News, learned nothing

Submitted by Gordon on June 5th, 2015 at 9:50 AM

Because he is what he is (a self-aggrandizing misanthrope), Dave Brandon got a farewell profile in the Detroit News today.  It's one of their top stories.  Let's see if he learned anything from his time at Michigan.


(Spoiler:  he has not!  What an asshole.)

A fitting move, that. What better preparation could there be for running a kiddie emporium than spending five years in the middle of the Ann Arbor circus, a swirl of trustee politicking, fan resentment and a football team that had the audacity to fall short of mythical expectations?


Brandon sounds like a man pleased to be back on the familiar ground of corporate America. There he'll be tackling marketing and operational challenges, building (or repairing) a brand buffeted by changing technology and changing consumer tastes. (All of which, by the way, applied at Michigan, as much as the die-hards refuse to acknowledge it.)


Critics hungry for the old AD to lash back at the university, a majority of its regents or the fans and students who hastened his exit will be disappointed. He's not obliging, in part because his separation agreement with Michigan bars it and in part because Brandon is moving on to a new chapter with the knowledge his tenure is defined by more than Brady Hoke's won-loss record.


What about that didn't go right — the mistakes, the terms of your departure, the criticism by alumni, students and fans, I asked. How will the lessons of your Michigan tenure, many of them searing, inform how you run Toys "R" Us as its next CEO?

"Every job experience I've had, every lesson I've learned — some the easy way, some the hard way — changes you and hopefully makes you better," he replied. "If you don't approach things that way, then you don't improve, and I'm wired to constantly be challenging myself to, 'how can I do things better, what mistakes have I made?'"

"And, most importantly, how do I never make the same mistake twice."

Go away, you jackass.  He is legally barred from bashing the Michigan fanbase, so he has a handpicked writer do it for him.  What an asshole.

EDIT:  And oh by the way, Toys R Us isn't making Brandon available for interviews to anybody.  This article was conceived and proposed entirely by Dave Brandon.



June 5th, 2015 at 11:23 AM ^

Dave Brandon plays no role in my decision to shop at Toys R Us;  I don't shop there anyways because their prices are awful.  I first realized this when setting up my baby registry a few years back, and compared to other places selling the same exact thing, it was highway robbery to expect people to buy things for us from Babies R Us.  I'll stick to Target and Amazon for the items that Toys R Us and Co. sells.  DB will fit in nicely there.

Doctor Wolverine

June 5th, 2015 at 10:08 AM ^

Oh my gosh! In your block quote all he said was that he learned from his mistakes...let's burn him! Seriously, he tried as AD, he failed, he's gone. Can we please get over it?


June 5th, 2015 at 10:19 AM ^

It's not that he simply "tried as an AD (and) he failed." He oversaw, instigated, and exacerbated the most humiliating 5 year span of Michigan football futility/incompetence and proceeded to bring shame and embarrassment upon the entire university and fanbase until he was fired.

I agree that the OP might be overreacting a tad to some half assed newspaper "article/interview/opinion piece/whatever," but I don't need to recap every single increasingly wrong thing that he did to tell you that the man damaged the university's national reputation in no insignificant way. People here won't take that lightly.

Doctor Wolverine

June 5th, 2015 at 10:58 AM ^

Instigated implies that he tried to humiliate UofM. That is not the case. Is he a jerk? Probably. Was he a bad fit as our AD? Yes. Did he make it clear when he was hired that his goals were to market UofM sports and increase profits? Yes. It is just as much the fault of those who hired him as it is DBs fault. The point is that he is gone now, we seem to have a great interim AD, and we have excellent coaches in most major sports. Let's learn from OUR mistakes, and be happy with what we have now.


June 5th, 2015 at 11:29 AM ^

"Instigated implies that he tried to humiliate UofM. That is not the case."

I would argue that sending condescending emails to fans, the handling of the aftermath of the Shane Morris incident, and his general attitude towards the entire fanbase and student news outlet would accurately portray tha he was, in fact, trying to humiliate himself and the university.

"It is just as much the fault of those who hired him as it is DBs fault."

You are right, it is the fault of those who hired him in the first place and I hope that the ones who are still employed at UM have at least learned something from this.

"The point is that he is gone now, we seem to have a great interim AD, and we have excellent coaches in most major sports. Let's learn from OUR mistakes, and be happy with what we have now."

I am happy with Harbaugh and Hackett. I look forward to the day when this is just a mildly unpleasant memory. But just because he is gone does not mean we should entirely forget or forgive the damage his moronic acts have either caused or helped cause the university.

turd ferguson

June 5th, 2015 at 10:09 AM ^

I'm no Dave Brandon fan, but the excerpted quote seems completely at odds with the OP's title and content.  Where did he say - or even imply - that he learned nothing?  He didn't talk specifics there, but he claims that he's being reflective, thinking about his mistakes, and making sure that he doesn't repeat them.


June 5th, 2015 at 10:20 AM ^

The feel that I got from that quote is that he didn't think he actually made mistakes at Michigan. He talks about "mythical expectations," internal politics, and changing market dynamics that the die-hards refused to acknowledge.

While you can talk about how you always are learning, that's empty rhetoric when nothing else you say acknowledges fault on your own part. Every bit of that quotation was about shifting the blame elsewhere.


June 5th, 2015 at 11:45 AM ^

I agree with you on this.  The article was fluff.  There was nothing that DB was quoted as saying that made him come off as the jackass we all know that he is.  

Granted, the article didn't cover any of DB's finer moments and characteristics (late night emails, how to manage a crisis, difficutly with the truth, a complete lack of respect for tradition, ...).


June 5th, 2015 at 10:24 AM ^

I got that as well.  My opinion of DB hasn't improved a whit since I think he just says these things for show because he's a sociopathic egomaniac whose polished persona can emulate qualities like humility when it benefits him.  He's a hollow suit.

But what he SAID in the blockquote is very reasonable.  That's what you'd want anyone to say on their way out of a bad situation. . . which is precisely why I think DB said it.  But going off that alone, it's OP who looks shrill and bitter.


June 5th, 2015 at 10:34 AM ^

(and I take no stance on whether that's a fair assumption), Brandon/the author did say that Brandon's time at Michigan was good preparation for running a "kiddie emporium."  The implication being that both locations involve catering to children.  

That's probably an unfair take on the sentence, though.  I'm pretty jaded.


June 5th, 2015 at 10:12 AM ^

UM's fanbase has a large percentage of haters, apparently w/ no lives and nothing better to do, that are going to stalk him for the rest of his life.  Funniest part is they think they are qualified to judge.  LMFAO


June 5th, 2015 at 11:52 AM ^

This is probably the dumbest comment I've read in a long time. "No lives" and yet here you are commenting on a message board. Is the mom joke next??


The article is in the Detroit News, not exactly stalking bruh LMFAOROTFLGTFO.


Dave Brandon is a piece of shit and deserves every ounce of criticism Michigan fans give him, from here until he apologizes. We as fans aren't just qualified to judge him, it's our fucking responsibility.  


June 5th, 2015 at 10:16 AM ^

makes mistakes and tries to learn from them?  Author of the piece, you can have a beef with, but DB on his quoted material here?  Not much to see.  Guy was clearly an ass at time as AD, but this post is trying to sell something that just isn't there. 

KO Stradivarius

June 5th, 2015 at 10:20 AM ^

He has to say this, he needs to "spin" his time as AD so it does not look like a total debacle.  How else does he keep his credibility with anyone?  He's lost it with us, but you have to expect this posturing with the rest of the business world.  

name redacted

June 5th, 2015 at 10:23 AM ^

I came excited to jump on the Dave Brandon hater bandwagon, but after reading what OP wrote and the included quotes from the article (won't click a freep link) only one who looks bad here is OP. Your title is buzzfeed level click bait.. Complete and disproportionate over reaction to what you provided as examples of Brandons ego and arrogance. This reminds me of a jaded ex girlfriend who will find fault in every action and statement regardless of merit to her emotions. You've got a great new boyfriend OP, time to move on

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June 5th, 2015 at 10:23 AM ^

I'm a bit lost. I'm not a fan of Dave Brandon, but I don't see anything wrong with what he said. Seems like he gave a boiler plate "I learn from my mistakes and move on" type answer. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. But I didn't see anything wrong with his quote.

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June 5th, 2015 at 10:28 AM ^

It's boilerplate because it's a damn good answer.  From the right person (someone with real feelings) it's just what you want to hear.

Brandon didn't say it because it's a good answer, though.  He said it because it's boilerplate.  Because he knows it's what people want to hear.

OP is still a hysterical nitwit.

Bando Calrissian

June 5th, 2015 at 10:24 AM ^

Business writer asking Brandon business questions, Brandon won't talk about Michigan, but writer tries to address the elephant in the room.

Nothing much to see here. Let the guy have his fancy Manhattan apartment--thankfully, he isn't our problem anymore.

m goblue

June 5th, 2015 at 10:28 AM ^

The interview was fine and not self aggrandizing at all.  He didn't do a good job at Michigan, get over it and let the man live the rest of his life.