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.