Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski

Overview

As the widely-admired CEO of Tyco International, Dennis Kozlowski grew a little-known New Hampshire conglomerate into a global giant. In a stunning series of events, Kozlowski suddenly lost his job along with his favored public status when he was indicted by legendary Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau—it was an inglorious end to an otherwise brilliant career. Kozlowski was the face of corporate excess in the turbulent post-Enron environment; he was pictured under headlines that read “Oink Oink,” and publicly ...

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Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski

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Overview

As the widely-admired CEO of Tyco International, Dennis Kozlowski grew a little-known New Hampshire conglomerate into a global giant. In a stunning series of events, Kozlowski suddenly lost his job along with his favored public status when he was indicted by legendary Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau—it was an inglorious end to an otherwise brilliant career. Kozlowski was the face of corporate excess in the turbulent post-Enron environment; he was pictured under headlines that read “Oink Oink,” and publicly castigated for his extravagant lifestyle. “Deal-a-Day Dennis” was transformed into the “poster child for corporate greed.” Kozlowski was ultimately convicted of grand larceny and other crimes that, in sum, found the former CEO guilty of wrongfully taking $100 million from Tyco.

Taking Down the Lion shines a bright light on former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and the Tyco corporate scandal—it is the definitive telling of a largely misunderstood episode in U.S. business history. In an unfiltered view of corporate America, Catherine Neal pulls back the curtain to reveal a world of big business, ambition, money, and an epidemic of questionable ethics that infected not only business dealings but extended to attorneys, journalists, politicians, and the criminal justice system.

When the ugly truth is told, it’s clear the “good guys” were not all good and the “bad guys” not all bad. And there were absolutely no heroes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“If you read Taking Down the Lion, you need to be prepared to stay awake late into the night. This is the painful yet riveting story of the government’s professionally petty, jealousy-driven, crowd pleasing, yet utterly wrong and immoral destruction of an economic genius; and it is well told by Catherine S. Neal. Dennis Kozlowski created jobs and wealth in a political environment in which his work and his rewards became an obstacle for the government. This book is a tour de force in the terrors of justice which should never have happened in America. It is a story we all need to know. It could happen to any of us.” —Hon. Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel

“In Taking Down the Lion, business ethics Professor Catherine S. Neal has the guts to take down the conventional history of the tragic fall of Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski. Kozlowski sits in prison longer than murderers, the victim of his outsized greed, betrayal by his Board, and unbridled prosecutorial excess. This is a contrarian view that casts a shadow on whether greed and hubris translated into criminal behavior. A riveting read, with a rigorous case that Kozlowski was railroaded.” —James O. Campbell, Host of nationally syndicated Business Talk with Jim Campbell

"Ms. Neal gets it right. Dennis Kozlowski took a small obscure New England company and transformed it into $40 billion global giant. He created enormous wealth for his shareholders, including members of the Tyco board who conveniently claimed amnesia when he most needed their support. Eight years in prison is a long time to serve for what amounted to a contract dispute."—Robert L. Dilenschneider, Founder and Principal of the Dilenschneider Group, and author of Power and Influence

 

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
Neal (Business Ethics and Law/Northern Kentucky Univ.) debuts with an investigation into the riches-to-rags career of Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco International who was convicted for grand larceny and other crimes and is still serving an indeterminate sentence in prison. The narrative features interviews with the principals in the case (which took off following the Enron scandal), including, for the first time, Kozlowski himself, former New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and members of his prosecution team, and executives from Tyco, and the author raises many questions about the prosecution and its results. Cross-checking her findings with trial transcripts and regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Neal explores how Kozlowski could have stolen money he appeared to have been entitled to by actions of the corporation's board. She asks whether the DA's office was not as scrupulous in prosecuting as it might have been--e.g., in observing the defendant's rights. She also notes that Kozlowski's associates at Tyco might have been open to indictment for allowing their chief such privileges as his almost open-ended pay agreement. She contends that this affected their role as witnesses for the prosecution. Additionally, Neal points to the role of the press in shaping the climate in which the prosecution unfolded, with lurid stories about Kozlowski's luxurious lifestyle of excess. The evidence on which these questions are based seems to be substantial. Kozlowski, from jail, is able to say that he never had a chance to put up a proper defense and offers, nearly eight years after his conviction (subsequently upheld by higher courts), his claim to innocence. The author's concluding refusal to "assign blame or attribute bad motives" strengthens the questions raised. A controversial airing of business issues from a decade ago.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137278913
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 528,487
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine S. Neal is an Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Business Law in the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was a Corporate Law Fellow. Professor Neal was granted unprecedented access to Dennis Kozlowski, his papers, attorneys, family, friends, and former Tyco colleagues as well as transcripts and evidence from two criminal trials. Neal’s research included interviews with former Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau and with the foreman of the jury that convicted Kozlowski.

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