Party punch packs a wallop

CORPORTE chieftains have a macho image to uphold, but Alan Jackson, head honcho at Austrim Nylex seems to be taking it a bit far. According to The Australian newspaper, Jackson, aged 66, was involved in a punch up at a Christmas party given at the home of then managing director Greg Beatty. It seems Beatty had just delivered a few well chosen words to guests on the future of Austrim when he was grabbed by the scruff of the neck, dragged from the swimming pool area, and delivered a bunch of fives. Another executive who unwisely intervened also received one on the noggin.

Beatty has since resigned, understandably citing “irreconcilable differences with senior management.”

It sounds as if the affair at chez Beatty was a mere skirmish compared with the pounding the market has given Austrim Nylex shares, which have virtually halved in a year to $1.63 and dropped from a peak of $4.30 in 1997. The climate has not been favourable for the bolt-on old economy acquisitions with which Jackson built his considerable reputation.

It had not occurred to Briefcase that outright violence could take place in corporate circles. But how would we know? Perhaps Kerry Packer takes a polo mallet to under-performing executives. Conceivably Ziggy Switkowski is ready to head butt the next Telstra executive that brings him a bum deal.

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