James Packer’s withering put-down of former Fairfax CEO Fred Hilmer at Kirribilli last year is the most colourful anecdote of many surfaced with the release of the Pamela Williams’ new book “Killing Fairfax: Packer, Murdoch & The Ultimate Revenge”.
Hilmer had approached the Crown chairman and said he had got out of Fairfax “at the right time” just before the start of the current tumultuous rounds of savage cost cuts and redundancies, to which Packer responded the “damage had already been done by the time you got out, Fred. F … off.”
And there’s also a great nugget about a brusque dismissal – just perhaps not quite as blunt – of Gina Rinehart over dinner when she asked Packer to join her as a Fairfax investor.
John Lehmann reports:
However, Ms Rinehart’s proposal, made at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel, was rejected, with Mr Packer not wanting any part in turning around the challenged media company.
“He left the dinner abruptly, making it clear to Rinehart that the answer was no,” the book says.
Mr Packer was “annoyed at the implication that he could be easily dragooned into helping to run Fairfax, a company he loathed and which was rife with problems”.
“I saw traditional media as all fights and no reward; and I believed the internet was coming,” Mr Packer said in an earlier portion of the book.
It’s a revealing insight into Packer’s view of the media companies that his father Kerry had run so successfully.
There’s more at The Daily Telegraph.
Disclosure: Fairfax Media owns Business Insider’s publishing company, Allure Media.
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