DSR: "David Brandon is the Devil"

Submitted by bdsisme on December 12th, 2013 at 11:54 AM

A diatribe at Detroit Sports Rag gained some RTs on twitter (though it may be excessively derisive).  Recently-realized WARNING: Brian hates this writer (read Brian's 2005 column here).  Just like in 2005, I'm not sure if everything is 100% accurate -- he talks about how DB worked for Bain Capital, when I believe DB was merely hired by a headhunting firm to head up Domino's (who was owned by Bain).


Because of Michigan’s status as a public university, Michigan residents can get rid of this eyesore of Ann Arbor next fall. In the spring, when the major parties announce their candidates for Regent, ask the candidates if they will support someone who believes himself to be bigger than the university he swears to love? If the candidate supports Brandon, vote the other way. Enough is enough. It’s time to put someone in charge on South State Street who can relegate their self promotion to the backseat, behind the greater good of the Michigan Athletic Department. Until then, Michigan fans will continue to be nickel and dimed – with all of it being siphoned into David Brandon’s bank account.

[Also of note, Brian was on DSR's podcast on December 4th: http://detroitsportsrag.net/dsr-podcast-with-mgoblog-dombrowski-presser/#more-1935 .]



December 12th, 2013 at 12:28 PM ^

Maybe.  He's no longer CEO of Dominos but he is chairman of the board of directors.  I'm sure still holds a fair amount of stock.  Has one of the highest salaries listed in the public U of M salary record.  There is also a thing around U of M called "defered compensation" which does not show up on the public reports.  Basically a way to hide bonuses.


December 12th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

Its my understanding that Board members are not highly compensated as such.  They get all expenses paid but do not necessarily get compensation.  Its more of a prestige thing (though I'm not sure how prestigious it is to sit on Domino's board - LOL).  He probably get a nice parting gift from Dominos but, nevertheless, there's no way he's making as much as AD compared to what he made as CEO of a major corporation.  Either way, I'm sure he's doing fine.

Giordano Bruno

December 12th, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

It is not uncommon for Board members on publicly traded corporations to make 6 figures a year.  




The article above indicates that for S&P 500 companies, board member pay averages $251,000.  Hardly a nominal sum.  I would also direct you to pull forms 990 (available to the public) from some of your notable local not-for-profit organizations.  You might be surprised how much board members on those organizations are getting paid, too.  Pretty eye-opening.  


December 12th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

This sounds about right. The charter for our company's board says that they meet "as often as necessary", but it usually seems to end up being about 4-6 times per year. Here anyway, they are compansated half in cash and half in equity, but the amount of total compensation puts it around $50,000 per meeting per person. Funnily enough, Dave Brandon is actually on our board of directors here. 

Dr. Merp McMerpleton

December 12th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Can't. Tell. If. Serious.

A Chairman of the Board is probably the best job in the freaking world.  One, you're already rich as f***.  Two, you get paid six figures (minimum) on top of having ALL your expenses paid for to attend 4-5 meetings per year, and dial in to a conference call every month.  The hourly wage factor is UNMATCHED.

Also, per public records (DPZ is a public company, we should know all about Brandon's comp) - he's cashed in OVER $11.5M of stock in 2013 alone.  DB = one rich f***.  

[Edit - Per Forbes he made $2.1M as CEO in 2010 and $0.4M as Chairman in 2011.. and since Chair = 1/100th the work of CEO... methinks he is doing much, much better now.  FWIW he also sits on the Board of Herman Miller.]


December 12th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

I have an uncle who sits on a couple of Boards so I can tell you that members typically get some level of compensation, but it's nothing compared to what executives get.  You're looking at anywhere from 75K to 200K a year.  Of course, board members only have to work infrequently, so it's not bad pay for the hours.  Besides, Board members are always ex-execuitves, so they've made their money and are just filling the days in their semi-retirement.

Nice work if you can find it.


December 12th, 2013 at 3:09 PM ^

Don't forget, though, that even though there is D&O insurance, you still, as a board member, are a fiduciary and therefore have personal iability.  And with the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley you also have potential criminal liability.

There *is* responsibility and risk that goes along with the job.


December 12th, 2013 at 5:47 PM ^

note: just providing facts. not hating.


the board members do have fiduciary responsibility, and thus personal liability, in theory.

Of course, it's nearly impossible to successfully sue a board/directors, let alone criminally convict them. In terms of being sued, the board is protected by "the business judgment rule," which basically requires you deal in good faith, make reasonably prudent decisions, and make decisions you then-believe to have been in the company's best interest. 

Not that easy, though. The board has what is essentially an extremely high level of deferrence from courts--the courts won't substitute their business judgments for the execs. 

Also, to successfully bring a shareholder derivative suit, you need to first obtain permission, or "waiver" from the board. The premise of derivative suits is that conduct/a decision harmed the company, and the company is thus suing the directors. AND, to top it all off, this is only waived when you can show a self-interested transaction that would make it futile to attempt to ask. To sue. Themselves. 

In short: technically, there's liability. But you need to try real hard to actually screw up hard enough for anything to happen.

/end law rant


December 12th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

with top notch facilities already built. I don't think we want to go back to the days of Goss who had us running deficits and who could not manage the department. I know the board bitches about some things like "wow", but the guy makes us money which is more important than ever in a college arms race. Pay for results. 


December 12th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

I have to imagine so. Dominoes is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and being its CEO is not a low paying job, I'm sure. Plus, CEOs get paid large bonuses and have stock options, so yes, I'm almost 100% sure he took a pay cut to be the AD.

Monocle Smile

December 12th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

There are plenty of legitimate criticisms when it comes to Dave Brandon, but this is a bit disingenuous. Disagree with him about what's best for the AD all you want, and I'll probably support those disagreements to some degree, but accusing Brandon of deliberately ignoring the interests of the AD in favor of himself is classless.


December 12th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

I don't think DB puts himself above the good of the AD. And the "EEEEVIL Bain Capital" ranting is annoying.

I do think, however, that he has a hell of an ego and sometimes too easily equates "things that Dave Brandon likes" with "things that are good for the athletic department". I also think he gets too personally involved in the operation of the football team (sitting in film review, the very personal and frankly unprofessional "vote of confidence in Hoke and Mattisson" blog post.


December 12th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

I agree with you, to a point.  I can't stand that we play music all game long.  I don't think we need to "promote" Michigan Football as much as we do, since, like Bill Martin, I'm under the general impression that Michigan Football sells itself.  That said, to equate a reasonable belief, and action on that by Brandon (and he's not making this decisions without committees and discussion and overview from Mary Sue) as somehow self serving is just plain stupid. 


December 12th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

I actually agree with you. To me, DB's ego manifests itself when he sometimes acts like a fan (of the Ol' Blue persuasion) given the keys to the castle. I don't like this, but I don't think it affects his ability to manage the bottom line.

The article however is implying that DB is milking the AD for the sake of personal enrichment, which is a stupid argument.

Section 1

December 12th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

But I am generally in favor of more info, and fewer banned things.

Still, as long as we are on the subjects of bans and/or boycotts; if I were Brian Cook, I think I'd tell the DSR that I would never ever again appear with or for them in any capacity.  And I'd make a big deal about doing that, and exactly why.

This is garbage.  Beneath garbage, is the assertion that Brandon is somehow converting fans' money to his own use ("his own bank account"); it seems to me close to libelous.

I'm all for intelligent criticism of the Michigan Athletic Department if it is deserving.  I've engaged in some of that myself.  And I don't mind a bit if someone has some intelligent criticism, or critical news, about Dave Brandon.  But this story is such lowbrow trashtalk.  Beneath contempt.  Sub-Sharp.


December 12th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

I'm not sure how the association of Bain with DB is supposed to suddenly make DB a bad guy. Also, why is the promotion of DB from Bain to CEO of Domino's a bad thing? DB did a great job with Domino's...and none of this has anything to do with being an AD at Michigan.


December 12th, 2013 at 12:16 PM ^

It's an attack article, which serves no real purpose except to try to smear DB from every possible angle.  Hell, if Brandon sneezed once in 1995 the author might have listed it as "an affront to American atmospheric quality".

I know Brandon isn't the most popular guy now, but this article is ridiculous.


December 12th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

to be code for republican/Romney in many corners, and therefor evil.  Some of that persuasion believe they can mention Bain w/out any context, and evil is assumed.

I believe ~60% of dislike for Brandon is politically motivated, but detractors don't have the gumption to admit that.  And on this blog, you're not really allowed to.  So it comes out as "BRANDON KILLS BABIES FOR NICKELS AND CHILDREN FOR DIMES!!"


December 12th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

Actually, considering that many posters seem to hope DB leaves the AD by way of winning political office, I think you're wrong (at least re: the Brandon hate).

FWIW I'm no Democrat and I dislike many of Brandon's actions.


December 12th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

even if true, and I wouldn't concede many or the majoritiy of detractors feel that way, it wouldn't necessarily refute my argument.  Just as likely that they'd rather he go be that away from their university (i.e. better in public office than so close to home). 

And re. your preferences, fair enough, but I did say 60% and not 100%.


December 12th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

Maybe I am being naive, but I think most disagreements have to do with people disagreeing with their vision of what Michigan is supposed to be and what DB's vision is. More of a traditionalists vs progressives (i.e. band vs piped in music). 

I thought Dave Brandon was a great hire. He came into a divided house and I felt he did a good job of reuniting the fan base.  I still like his hire of Hoke (even though I was against it when I initially heard about it) and think he handled the press very well at the time.

I do disagree with some of the direction he is taking this department.  I am not against modernizing, (love the new stadium upgrades and the Crisler updates), but still enjoy the old tradition.  I would prefer that the band be more prominent, and death to uniformz, I don't see any of these things as political points. 


December 12th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

but that political bias is being transferred to blog-appropriate memes is pretty clear, at least to my mind.  The venom and fervor with which even mild decisions are met with outrage is very reminiscent of that arena.

It appears you have a few advocates and I detractors in this thread.  Perhaps like you, they disagree with my argument.  Perhaps they dislike being outed.  Such is the nature of opinions.