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Making the sausage…

images-4.jpegBack in November, we footnoted about the musical chairs at O-I (fka Owens-Illinois) (OI) and H.B. Fuller (FUL). A quick refresher: OI hired Fuller CEO (and O-I board member) Al Stroucken to replace Steven McCracken, whom the company said in a July release was dealing with a malignant stomach tumor.

At the time, it was hard to tell exactly how much these changes would wind up costing O-I investors. But yesterday, the company provided more details in this fourth quarter press release. Sort of. Down near the bottom of the release, under the heading "CEO transition", the company notes that it took a $20.8 million pre-tax charge related to the separation agreement with McCracken, the hiring of Stroucken and — here’s the x factor — "several members of the European management team." How many members? Hard to say. How much did they wind up with? That’s also an unknown. But it’s pretty clear that by throwing in those extra European managers, O-I is making it a bit difficult to do the math on exactly how much that change wound up costing. Granted, given O-I’s size, $20.8 million isn’t all that significant. Which makes one wonder why they wouldn’t just provide the necessary details.

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Speaking of making sausage, last night I went to a Blogger Summit hosted by WNBC, the local NBC news affiliate. Over 100 NYC-area bloggers were plied with unusually large shrimp, whisked into the Conan O’Brien studios and told that bloggers are important when it comes to gathering news for local TV. Call it new media meeting old media, though judging by my elevator ride down, some of my fellow-bloggers were pretty cynical about how this all will work. If you have time you’re looking to waste today, there’s probably no better way than to check out what other blogger’s have to say about the blogger’s summit here.