When you’ve just completed a brazen $4.5 billion deal that has astonished the market with its speed and surprise, it’s no wonder your loyal lieutenants will praise you even more than usual.
But is it possible that the fawning comments in Saturday’s Financial Review by Packer acolytes John Alexander, Paul O’Sullivan, David Gyngell and Mark Bouris may have embarrassed even James Packer himself?
According to Alexander, who is Packer’s CEO, “James has the best strategic brain I have ever seen in business. He has the capacity to see trends before they actually happen, whether it’s the arrival of the online revolution, the globalisation of gambling or the long-term challenges to traditional media.” And his “grasp of numbers is a sight to behold … He doesn’t forget them and has a capacity to crunch complicated figures instantaneously.”
Bouris, who runs one of Packer’s financial businesses, says that “he has this quantitative ability second to none and can do complex calculations in his head quicker than most people can use a calculator.”
According to O’Sullivan, CEO of Optus, “James has an inquiring mind represented by an amazing ability to grasp new technologies”.
And Gyngell, his good friend and a former CEO of the Nine Network, tells us that James, “one of the most strategic, futuristic thinkers that I have ever come across,” is a “bigger thinker than his father” and “history will show” him “to be an even better businessman than his father.”
Has praising The Prince ever reached such heights in the short history of Australian business and public life?
Nicolo Machiavelli, eat your heart out.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.