Gucci’s CEO Robert Polet, who is profiled as Europe Businessman of the Year by FORTUNE magazine (“Galvanizing Gucci“, 21 Jan 2008), did something that most executives in his position would consider taboo. According to the FORTUNE article:
“At the PPR gathering, in Lisbon, Polet climbed onto the rostrum and, in front of then vice chairman François-Henri Pinault and 400 top executives, offered a first look at his plans to reorganize the Gucci Group, which included doubling its size and making profits grow faster than sales. And then, as the session was thrown open to questions, he looked at his watch and apologized. It was his daughter’s birthday, he said, and he had promised her he wouldn’t miss it. And with that he left for the airport.”
“On vacation, he refuses to be disturbed except in case of true emergencies. When Ballini of Russell Reynolds tried to get hold of him while he was with his family in Botswana, she was politely informed by someone in his office that she couldn’t.”
Now, how many executives have the guts to draw that kind of line between work and family?