New York -- DirecTV Inc. global chairman Eddy Hartenstein endured a heavy
round of roasting Thursday night before he accepted an award from the T. Howard
Foundation for promoting workplace diversity.
Larry Chapman, president of DirecTV Global Digital Media Inc., asked the
crowd of direct-broadcast satellite executives and programmers if they would
like to 'make a toast, share a memory or even serve a subpoena.'
He then went on to joke that Hartenstein's idea for an early DirecTV
marketing campaign was not well received. Chapman said Hartenstein wanted to
give away free sausage with every pizza-size satellite dish, 'but we learned
pretty quickly that the Circuit Cities of the world are ill-equipped to handle
any kind of pork product.'
Wink Communications Inc. CEO Maggie Wilderotter told the audience that the
'e' in e-commerce stands for 'Eddy,' and not electronic. She showed a screen
shot of a mock Wink e-commerce site that sold boxer shorts with Hartenstein's
'Now anyone here can get into Eddy's shorts for only $1.50,' she joked.
On a more serious note, the foundation reached its goal of raising $500,000
through its annual dinner. It has also received commitments to place 25 college
students in paid summer internships.
Hartenstein pulled out an airline seatbelt as a visual aid during his speech,
urging his audience to loosen the belt, take some risks and manage by walking
around and getting a better handle of what workers are