15 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (45)

How much difference did it make in your management? 

During the period from '64 to '67, I had to sit down with 
Mr. Saez. Raul was a very, very busy man, and we'd meet a 
couple or three times a week, or maybe jump a week, and meet for 
an hour or two. He said, "Bob, I'm going to talk to you, and 
you have to draft it and write it up. Then send it to me, and 
I'll call you when we can meet again to review the draft." 

I said, "I have done some work on it myself with my 
lawyers, so I'll give you a framework." 

He said, "That's fine and dandy. Let me take a look at it. 
But I want you to have one thing clear. When I was general 
manager of Endesa," which is a government-owned company, "I 
wanted to do several things in the company, things that a 
general manager should do, because it was in all my powers-of- 
attorney vested to me as I took over the job. I couldn't do 
them because I had political restraints on me. So I want you to 
draft this up so that you don't have any restraints; you will 
have all of the full powers of the general manager, because 
you'll be responsible in front of the board, and you can be 
fired if you don't do it properly. I don't want you to be able 
to duck out and say, 'I couldn't do it because I had restraints 
on me'. That's what I wish I could have had when I was manager 
of Endesa." 

So we drafted it up that way. We never took it out of the 
file in the short time from '67 to '71 that I managed the 
company. It never was referred to once. When you have a good 
agreement between the parties and you draft it up, you don't 
have to go back and look at the files on the thing. 

And it worked out absolutely fine, though many things 
happened to it. We had to present our budget the following 
year, in "68 and the rest of '67. I had a contributions and 
public relations budget, which all American companies had-- 
donating books to libraries, making pictures of the company, 
radio time, and all that stuff. The first thing that was 
criticized on the budget was when one of the members on the 
board said, "Bob, what are you doing with all this money? The 
government controls the TV station and the radio station; we get 
free time, so take it. Don't spend the money on that. The 
library? We have a budget for libraries; there's no need for us 
to give our money to them. We want the cash in here; we want it 
as dividends." 

So there were no contributions, no public relations, and no 
donations budget; we ran a mining company for profits! It's 
entirely different when you put it on the other shoe [put the 
shoe on the other foot]. [laughter] 

Simian and I became an executive committee. The board just 
decided that they wanted Ed and me to make the major decisions. 
They told us that we could let them know; they had trust in both 
of us. They knew perfectly well that Simian would not give 
anything that was not good for them, and I wouldn't give 
anything that was not good for us. So they decided that was a 
pretty nice way to have major decisions made. 

Ghost town of Sewell, abandoned barracks

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