For Astros Owner, Leadership Means Never Taking Responsibility For Anything

See how some of these scenarios strike you…

“I don’t think I should be held accountable,” the owner of the Floridian National Golf Club said after the clubhouse restaurant was caught watering down drinks.

“I don’t think I should be held accountable,” the owner of Modiant said after the software company was found to have stolen trade secrets from an industry rival.

“I don’t think I should be held accountable,” the president of Eagle USA Airfreight said after an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report alleged racist and sexist hiring practices at the company.

The last story is one that actually happened, although the president of the company did not hold a press conference and say that he did not think he should be held accountable. That same company president, though, did say just those words – “I don’t think I should be held accountable” – in relation to the baseball team he owns having been caught cheating its way to the 2017 World Series title.

Jim Crane doesn’t just own the Houston Astros, he owns a range of businesses. Could he expect, in any of those other fields, to escape responsibility for actions that brought his firm into disrepute? Well, yes.

Let’s go back to 2011, when Crane was buying the Astros for $680 million, and The New York Times noted that, “unlike the E.E.O.C. case, which described some of Crane’s actions and remarks, the Justice Department’s prosecution of the war profiteering, kickback and price-fixing cases (at then-Crane owned Eagle Global Logistics) do not name him.”

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