For centuries, maybe longer, it has been accepted practice that the best way to get ahead in business is to marry the boss’s daughter. Still, it has always seemed strange to me that this works even at the highest levels of corporate America. After all, it’s one thing when control of the local hardware shop is on the line. But the New York Yankees?
Yet, today we hear that the heir to the throne of Yankeeville, Steve Swindal, has lost his place in line after his wife (the boss’s daughter) divorced him. From the New York Times:
When Swindal leaves the family, he will effectively leave the Yankees. According to an individual with direct knowledge of the matter, Steinbrenner no longer plans to promote him, and he would seem to have no future with the team. But the situation is complicated because Swindal has a small financial interest in the team — among other things, he is listed as the chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises, the umbrella company for the club and the YES network — and the specifics of that interest will have to be untangled. Rubenstein would not say if Swindal still worked for the Yankees.
Is this really how it works? Of course it is. After all, when Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig left to become MLB commissioner he put his daughter in charge. This kind of thing happens all the time.
But when there are hundreds, maybe thousands of employees whose livelihoods are at stake, not to mention billions of dollars of revenue, it just seems crazy to treat an organization like it’s the House of Windsor, instead of a major company.
All that said, you’ve got to feel for Swindal here. It’s got to be hard enough to enter a family business when your father-in-law is the boss, but when your father in law is THE BOSS, well, that’s another matter altogether.
Now the question becomes, who is next in line? And I want to go on the record saying that if they don’t hand the job to the winner of next season’s The Apprentice, I’m going to be disappointed. How awesome would an Apprentice hosted by George Steinbrenner be? Very awesome, I say. Much better than the version they tried with Martha Stewart and at least as compelling as the Trump-led show.