The Global Crossing CEO recalls his decision to endure a pounding in Congress, stick by his company, and lead it out of Chapter 11

As told to Diane Brady

In October 2001, I became CEO of Global Crossing. The company was in a lot worse shape than I thought. I brought in some consultants, and I remember being angry when one of them suggested that we were headed into bankruptcy.

He was right. In January 2002, I agreed to file. This was in the midst of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco (TYC). The brand image was horrible. I was getting threats, and my family needed armed security. I thought to myself, “Wait a second. I just got here!”

They wanted Gary Winnick at the congressional hearings. He was the chairman, but I insisted that I go instead. It was important to put a different face on the company. I went to people I trusted and asked their advice. It was clear that I had to stick around. Otherwise, I would be forever associated with all of the negativity.

Nothing prepares you for walking into the Congress and sitting in that chair. They’re talking to you from up above. You don’t know what anonymous e-mails they’re going to read, but your lawyers have handed you the most embarrassing ones you’ve written, just in case they come up…

{Read more via BusinessWeek}


Pacific Capital Group’s Gary Winnick Hosts Dinner Honoring Panama Division of Young Presidents’ Organization. Companies run by members of the YPO employ more than 19 million people and generate US $4.3 trillion in annual revenues.

Beverly Hills, CA May 19, 2010 — Financier and philanthropist Gary Winnick hosted a dinner at his Bel Air home on Thursday, May 6, honoring the Panama Division of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Said Mr. Winnick, founder and CEO of Pacific Capital Group: “The Young Presidents’ Organization is a 100-nation global network of 17,000 of the best and brightest chief executives from 100 nations worldwide. I was pleased to host the Panama Division on its May visit to Los Angeles. All the accolades I had heard about YPO turned out to be true. These young leaders are the business and philanthropic linchpins of their countries.”

Jeffrey Rosenthal, president and chairman of Rose Investments LLC, who organized the evening event for YPO, commented: “Our CEO friends and spouses from some of Panama’s most important companies were treated by Gary and Karen Winnick to a world class event with great food and hospitality. It was an extraordinary and memorable evening.”

In July 2007, the Young Presidents’ Organization, with members under 50, merged with the World Presidents’ Organization. The companies run by YPO members now employ more than 19 million people and generate US$4.3 trillion in annual revenues.

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