Management misfire: Spain’s Wi-Fi ‘magician’ booted for financial trickery

Magician's hands in white gloves
Magician's hands in white gloves tapping wand against top hat
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Spain’s so-called Wi-Fi “magician” is fired for financial tricks

Spanish entrepreneur Jenaro Garcia always said that the goal of his company tech company Let’s Gowex SA was to make Wi-Fi as ubiquitous as running water. Just last month he said that Gowex was expanding so fast that he expected it to soon provide 20% of the world’s population with Wi-Fi.

But the Gowex chief executive officer and his commendable mission lost all credibility this week following the revelation by Gotham City Research, a United States investment firm, that Gowex’s financial results were fake and its stock was worthless.

Gowex is listed on France’s Alternext and reported that it brought in $249 million in revenue in 2013, which represents an increase of 60% year-over-year. Gotham, meanwhile, said in its report that revenue at Gowex was actually just over $11 million.

Garcia initially denied the report’s accusations but later fessed up to fabricating the financial statements, tweeting, “I made the deposition and confession. I want to collaborate with the justice. I face the [consequences].” He admitted that Gotham’s revenue figures were accurate.

Garcia has been stripped of all his power at Gowex, marking a colossal fall from grace for an entrepreneur who had been a darling of the Spanish business scene. In May, he won top prize from a Spanish marketing association as he was hailed as “a magician who converted Wi-Fi into water.”

American Apparel employs Dov Charney once more

American Apparel’s (APP) disgraced former chairman and CEO Dov Charney—who this week appears wedged into a woman’s buxom cleavage on the front of Bloomberg Businessweek—has weaseled his way back into the retailer he founded.

As part of a deal with investment firm Standard General on Wednesday, American Apparel made Charney a paid company consultant. Though Charney—who was fired last month in the midst of an investigation into alleged misconduct—technically works for American Apparel again, his employment comes with some restrictions. For instance, he’s forbidden from accessing the company’s computer systems, so instead of logging into his email directly, he must ask for a copy of his inbox instead.

American Apparel struck the deal to access $25 million from Standard General, which will help the retailer avoid bankruptcy.

Nice execs finish last

As much as we love to hate self-centered CEOs, the joke may be on us. According to a study by professors at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley’s business schools, execs who exhibit narcissistic traits like dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity, and low empathy tend to make more money than their more empathetic counterparts.

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