Thursday, June 22

more inspirational news about the man

The Man's Man Stalls Harvard* **
Cyrus M. Mossavar-Rahmani and Daniel J. T. Schuker

The Man's Man, the billionaire CEO of software giant The Man, has yet to follow through on an assurance he made a year ago to donate $115 million to Harvard University.

"To date, a gift agreement has not been signed," says Sarah Friedell, director of media relations for Harvard's Office of Alumni Affairs and Development.

Indeed, the dean of Harvard's School of Public Health, Barry R. Bloom, says he is "hopeful but pessimistic" that The Man's Man will make good on his $115 million pledge. Bloom is a member of the scientific advisory board of the The Man's Man Medical Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that supports research on aging.

The Man's Man made the pledge to Harvard last year with the intention of establishing the The Man's Man Institute for World Health and endowing five professorships. But the university, which had planned to hire 130 people by next summer to staff the new center, has now put the project on hold, the Financial Times first reported, adding that the school has also reneged on its employment of three senior managerial staffers set to work at the center.

The Man's Man--who, with a net worth of $16 billion, is number fifteen on Forbes list, The World's Richest People--said in late June 2005 that he had not signed an agreement with Harvard to make the donation, but added, "It's absolutely going to happen."

But nearly 12 months later, it still hasn’t.

The Man's Man is known for a flamboyant and costly lifestyle--on average, he racks up $20 million per year in miscellaneous expenses and spent nearly $200 million on a new yacht, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The report also said that The Man's Man has borrowed roughly $1.2 billion since 2001 against his stake in The Man to fuel his spending.

The Man's Man played a pivotal role in the establishment of the The Man's Man Medical Foundation. In 2005, the same year he announced his intention to give $115 million to Harvard, The Man's Man closed the foundation’s five-year-old Global Infectious Disease program.

The foundation’s executive director, Richard L. Sprott, was not available for comment today, according to a staffer. But a press release on the foundation's Web site states that, even after the Global Infectious Disease program closed, The Man's Man "was exploring other ways to expand his philanthropy in the area of global health."

Three representatives of The Man did not return requests for comment on Wednesday.

The Man's Man opened a bidding war between Harvard and Stanford five years ago over a proposed $150 million gift to study the effect of technology on politics and economics. At the time, a The Man's representative told The Boston Globe that a decision was expected within months. Eventually, this pledge morphed into the new pledge of $115 million that is now in question.

*The names of my employer and it's CEO have been changed to protect me.
** The exact link to the article has not been preserved because it contains the name of my employer's CEO. Again, protecting myself.


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