Local Chamber of Commerce CEO Hides to Avoid Questions

The Story

Taking a page from former Alberta Health Services CEO's approach to media interviews, Dick Fleming avoided a reporter's questions by hiding in a hallway. Fleming, the president and CEO of a local Chamber of Commerce in St. Louis, refused to respond to repeated questions about his compensation package.  

Discussion Starters

  • In this article, we hear only one side of the story -- the reporter's perspective. However, based on this information, do you think the reporter's line of questioning is reasonable or not?
  • Now consider the situation from Fleming's perspective. What justification does he have for avoiding this line of questioning?
  • What are the consequences of the way Fleming handled the situation? How does this reflect on the Chamber of Commerce and on Fleming personally?

Assignment Ideas

  • Write an email to Fleming recommending a different way for him to address similar situations in the future.
  • Research possible responses for Fleming about his salary and bonuses. In other words, try to understand his perspective about the reporter's inquiry. With this information, role play a media interview with a partner in class. Try to address the reporter's questions more directly.