More on Paul Pressler

MingerNet finds an interesting little anecdote about Paul Pressler’s management style. This may have worked back in the 80s and 90s, but today it’s non-functioning.

During top managers’ final reviews of the products for
an upcoming season, Mr. Pressler — a former Walt Disney Co. executive
who often acknowledged that understanding fashion was not his strength
— simply asked questions about the merchandise, rather than making
decisions. After he left the room, his charges huddled and, like
Kremlinologists, tried to deconstruct his remarks and reinterpret them
as orders. As a result, they frequently fussed over trivial issues such
as how the woven shirts should be folded, or whether the legs of the
khaki pants should hang off the table. A larger sense of direction
never became clear.

The second-guessing and arguing over minutiae have led to bland
merchandise, driven away executives and added to the sense that Gap is
stagnating, according to former employees. Gap’s same-store sales,
which are sales at stores open at least a year, have declined compared
with a year earlier in all but two of the last 24 months.

If this is how Pressler ran things at Disneyland it explains a lot