Penguins of Irony have decided: 10 dumbest business quotes of the year

The wonderful Lesley wrote:

My favorite this year was the Kraft brand manager who, upon being queried regarding the fact that the guacamole contains only 2% avocado said, in part, something to the effect of, “I don’t really know what customers expect.”

Penguins Employee of the monthWhich is pretty friggin’ great. Herewith some other winners:

  1. “I believed fundamentally that the balance sheet was strong. I believed that then and I believe that now.” — Ken Lay, court testimony last April.
  2. “The Yukon, Yukon Denali, Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche — we love them. So do customers, that’s even more important.” — GM CFO Frederick “Fritz” Henderson last May giving a quick guide on exactly how much GM doesn’t get it.
  3. “If we didn’t have this level of profitability, I don’t think we could get the supplies to where they need to get to.” — John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., attempting to spin a literal embarrassment of riches.
  4. “We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference.” — Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, realizing the real cost cost of his company’s hypocrisy.
  5. “Wii is a core gaming device. It’s a more fun, intuitive sort of product to pick up, where the PS3 is a broader entertainment solution.” — Sony Australia & New Zealand general manager Nic Foster inadvertently showing why telling the truth is generally frowned upon in corporate management.
  6. “The public perception … that you go to a 7-Eleven and grab beer, cigarettes and a lottery ticket. That’s not all we’re about.” — 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto hoping to remind consumers that his brand is also about chewing gum and milk, I guess.
  7. “No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children–in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.” — Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer responding to the question, Do you have an iPod?
  8. “We acknowledge that the name adopted by us for our restaurant was most inappropriate.” — Satish Sabhlok, one of the owners of the Hitler’s Cross Restaurant in Mumbai, India, proving his gift for understatement.
  9. “The ad has never been released, it is not out for public listening.” – Unnamed employee at the Dennis Mitsubishi car dealership in Columbus, Ohio, which was planning to run an ad proclaiming a jihad on the U.S. auto market and offering “Fatwa Fridays” with free swords for the kids.
  10. “The public analyst has stated that the name Welsh Dragon Sausage is not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the true nature of the food.” — Letter from a UK bureaucrat determined to make sure consumers don’t think they are eating meat from an animal previously believed to be fictitious.

Tomorrow the Penguins post their favorite political quotes. Monday will be their favorite quotes from press releases.


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