It’s not well remembered, but the planned 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics were scandal-ridden and in complete disarray until Romney took over as CEO in early 1999. In this management primer, he makes his rescue job seem very simple: he came in, displayed a positive attitude and hired competent, committed people, and the result was a successful Olympics that few had thought possible. That same attitude is displayed throughout this book, as Romney is quick to credit those around him for the games’ success.
He’s thorough as he details how he revamped the budget, kept costs down and marketed the games to sponsors. His self-deprecating honesty is refreshing and appealing. As he writes after emphasizing the importance of selling the games: “I know there are people out there who love to sell, but it is far from my favorite thing.” He’s also honest about his criticism of the Salt Lake City leaders who were tainted by their efforts to buy votes from International Olympic Committee members to get the city the games.
The same traits that make Romney, now the governor of Massachusetts, an unobtrusive leader don’t always serve the book; some readers will want to see more sparks fly. But those looking for a training manual in how to run a high-profile organization will be rewarded.
Book Review by Publishers Weekly
Mitt Romney is the former Governor of Massachusetts. Before becoming Governor in 2003, Romney led the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee as its president and CEO for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
In his three years leading the Salt Lake City Games, Governor Romney erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, galvanized community spirit, oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization to ensure public safety and led one of the most successful Olympics in our nation’s history.
In 1984, Mr. Romney founded Bain Capital, one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment companies. Bain Capital founded, acquired or invested in hundreds of companies including Staples, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Domino’s, Sealy, Brookstone, and The Sports Authority.
From 1978 to 1984, Mr. Romney was a Vice President of Bain & Company, Inc., the Boston-based management consulting firm. Later, as the company’s interim CEO, he led it through a highly successful turnaround. Today, Bain & Company has 25 offices worldwide and over 2000 employees.
Governor Romney has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving extensively in his church and numerous charities including City Year, the Boy Scouts, and the Points of Light Foundation.
Governor Romney received his BA with Highest Honors from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School and was named a Baker Scholar. In 1975, he also received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Governor Romney is the son of George W. Romney, former three-term Governor of Michigan, automobile industry executive of American Motor Company, and presidential contender in the 1968 election.
Governor Romney, 57, and his wife, Ann, have been married for 35 years. They have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and eighteen grandchildren.
Join CBC and get a free chapter of Ed Klein's new book, All Out War!