Press Release from Mike McWherter for Governor; Oct. 18, 2010:
Allegations Indicate Pilot Oil Baron Lacks Managerial Skills to Govern
KNOXVILLE – Despite Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s attempts to convince the public of his business prowess, his leadership role at companies has more often led to their demise than to their success. Recently examined SEC documents reveal that not only did Bill Haslam run Saks online business arm into the ground, his irresponsible management also spelled the demise of Harold’s, a Dallas-based department store, during his tenure as chairman at the company.
After 7 years with Haslam at the helm, Harold’s filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008. Shortly after the department store chain folded, a lawsuit was filed against Haslam and other company directors alleging reckless hiring practices, irrational corporate waste, and deceptive bookkeeping.
According to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, company directors mismanaged Harold’s and ultimately squandered $36 million in company and creditor income.
“These developments reveal Bill Haslam to be an inept manager,” said Shelby White, spokesman for the McWherter Campaign.
Bolstering the accusations of mismanagement leveled by the bankruptcy trustee against Haslam and other Harold’s directors is Haslam’s dismal stint at Saks Direct, the failed e-commerce venture of Saks Fifth Avenue. In only 3 years, Mayor Haslam somehow managed to drive down the company’s stock value from $35 to $11 per share, causing shareholders to lose 68.5% of their investments and forcing Saks to take a $35 million dollar loss.
“All available evidence points to Haslam’s inability to manage.” said White. “He’s run ads touting his experience at Pilot, saying it proves he is a managerial magician, but he has so far refused to release the details of his involvement. Are Tennesseans supposed to overlook his woeful business record and simply take it on faith that Haslam propelled Pilot to success? Tennesseans are smarter than that.”
About Mike McWherter
Mike McWherter, the only candidate in the race who is not a career politician, is a successful small business owner in West Tennessee. A native of Northwest Tennessee, he now lives in Jackson with his wife Mary Jane and their children Walker and Bess. The McWherter for Governor campaign can be found online at www.mikemcwherter.com.