Martin Shkreli's Failed Communications

TempFormer pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli damaged his own case by failing basic communication principles. As a juror said, he is "his own worst enemy" and "All he had to do was to tell everyone, ‘I'm sorry, I lost the money, all I can say is I'm sorry,' and that would be it."

In other words, just apologize. The jury found him guilty of fraud because he lied to hedge fund investors.

Throughout his career in the media, Shkreli came across as arrogant and indifferent to his impact on others. His company hiked the price of Daraprim, a potentially life-saving drug, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. A Daily Beast article called him "reprehensible" and worse.

In 2014, he tweeted about his board of directors: 

In January of this year, Shkreli was banned from Twitter for harassing a journalist. In 2016, he testified before Congress, and we see why people consider him offensive. He "takes the fifth," which is his right, but his behavior shows his lack of compassion. MoneyWatch posted "The many smirks of Martin Shkreli" during the hearing.

Image source.


  • What is the value of an apology, and how could saying "I'm sorry" have helped Shkreli?
  • What non-verbal behavior does Shkreli demonstrate? For example, watch 8:00 - 9:00 of the Congressional hearing. How do you interpret his non-verbals?