Case study of Henrique de Castro

Henrique de Castro is one of the most qualified people in the world of management consulting and as a management consultant myself I have always admired him. He is originally from Portugal and received his MBA from the very prestigious IMD in Switzerland. Like most of us, he started his career at a management consulting firm, in his case, McKinsey, the finest. From there, he moved on to Dell, Google, and Yahoo.

Now, I have repeatedly written about the mess that Yahoo has been in for over a decade now. My belief is that it will be nearly impossible to save the company in its current form. So, in a desperate attempt, Marissa Mayer fired de Castro. Fair enough.

Well, it is interesting to watch how ugly things can get. de Castro was not born yesterday. He is a seasoned businessman, but look what an ex-colleague told The Times, “…was fond of using spreadsheets but was weak in his knowledge of Google’s products.” Amanda Richman, president of investment and activation at Starcom USA, used even more mumbo-jumbo to trash him, saying, “Henrique wasn’t as market-facing as his predecessors or competitors.” Ouch! It gets worse. The Times calls him “…not a charismatic salesman willing to schmooze with Madison Avenue marketers.” As if he is a recent graduate of a community college. His ex colleagues tell the paper that “…he was a poor communicator with an arrogant, abrasive manner.” A guy who has made most of his professional living working in English is described now by some of his associates as “hard to understand.” So many people are now piling on him that NYT reports that things were so bad at Google that HR got involved after too many complaints from employees.

Boys and girls, it seems that there is a war out there in the workplace. Be careful. There are so many hungry lions ready to eat you alive.

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