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Innovation and Best Practice
for Business Success

Established 1967

How They Blew It

How They Blew It

The CEOs and Entrepreneurs Behind Some of the World's Most Catastrophic Business Failures

Jamie Oliver, Tony Goodwin


How They Blew It profiles business leaders and entrepreneurs and how they went from corporate gurus to financial disaster zones, resulting in the collapse of some of the world's most famous businesses. It looks at the personality traits of these business leaders and the fine line between success and failure.

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About the book

How They Blew It is a series of eye-popping tales of entrepreneurs and business leaders who went from corporate gurus to financial disaster zones in rapid and humiliating fashion. Full of surprising details and mind-blowing sums of money, it looks at the characteristics of these leaders and the fine line between hero and zero.How They Blew It is about the people at the heart of these business catastrophes. It is about what drives them to succeed and then to fail. It is a compelling examination of the rights and wrongs of each case and it seeks to get into the minds of the people behind the business disasters and ask 'Why the hell did they do that?' By examining how business ventures can go so badly wrong, you can learn to avoid those mistakes in the first place.

Table Of Contents

    • Chapter - 00: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 01: Bernie Ebbers – Chosen?;
    • Chapter - 02: Christopher Foster – Deadly Intent;
    • Chapter - 03: Mikhail Khodorkovsky – Stitch Up;
    • Chapter - 04: Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson – Rock Star;
    • Chapter - 05: Reuben Singh – All That Glitters;
    • Chapter - 06: Tim Power – More Than He Could Chew;
    • Chapter - 07: Dick Fuld – King Kong;
    • Chapter - 08: Guy Naggar and Peter Klimt – The Art of Money;
    • Chapter - 09: Adolf Merckle – One Step Too Far;
    • Chapter - 10: Boris Berezovsky – Exile;
    • Chapter - 11: Zhou Zhengyi – Power Politics;
    • Chapter - 12: Mark Goldberg – Paying the Penalty;
    • Chapter - 13: Ken Lay – Friends in High Places;
    • Chapter - 14: Kevin Leech – How to Blow a Billion;
    • Chapter - 15: James Cayne – A Bridge Too Far;
    • Chapter - 16: Robert Tchenguiz – Credit Crunched


Jamie Oliver has a wonderful turn of phrase and that rare ability to bring business to life.
Richard Tyler, The Daily Telegraph

In this timely yet disturbing book, journalist Jamie Oliver and recruitment expert Tony Goodwin present a rogues gallery of entrepreneurs and CEOs who have disgraced themselves and destroyed their companies...The authors lightly, charmingly depict the lives of these corporate desperados, offering lessons other leaders can draw from their stories.
Washingtonpost.com, October 2010.

Sixteen business leaders dissected with autopsy-like precision to explain how such remarkable business people all did something unbelievable - they totally blew it. All share similar traits...
HR magazine, December 2010

In a reflection of the times we live in, when are heroes are increasingly being found to have feet of clay, the authors (one of them being a journalist and the other an entrepreneur) bring a lot of experience and empathy towards the Icarus-like saga of 16 business leaders who built empires of epic proportions on the back of their unrelenting ambition and grit, only to see their businesses vaporise around them in no time.
Financial Express, September 2010

How They Blew It is an excellent book, written by people that really know business and entrepreneurship. It is not intended to show you how to blow it, though. It is mostly intended to give you the hints on how to avoid following in the footsteps of the people that have.
Continuity, Insurance and Risk, September 2010

Of itself, the collection of stories in interesting, and encouraging for those who like to see others fall from a high place. But it also has significant value as a lesson for business...Being an entrepreneur is all about risk taking - but the stress here is on a calculated risk.
Brianclegg.blogspot, July 2010

...they have delivered a readable, well-referenced enticement to those who are in business or who are contemplating a business venture. Perhaps the biggest lesson to be gleaned from How They Blew it is that an overdose of hubris can be a lethal business partner
Foreword Reviews, October 2010
Foreword Reviews

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749460655
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd July 2010
  • Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156
  • 224 pages

About the Author

Jamie Oliver has over 15 years experience as a freelance journalist writing about business topics and entrepreneurs. A former Daily Telegraph columnist, his work has appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent and a range of leading business magazines.

Tony Goodwin runs the international recruitment business, Antal, and is one of the UK's most successful business service entrepreneurs with over 25 years' experience in business. Tony has recently been selected as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 London & South winner.

Jamie Oliver

Tony Goodwin