Magazine

The Many Faces of Philanthropy


When asked about Barbara Cox Anthony's philanthropy, we said that she donates roughly half of her income to charitable causes. The $9.5 billion net-worth figure you use does not represent the amount available for Mrs. Anthony to donate ("The new face of philanthropy," Cover Story, Dec. 2). It reflects a portion of the value of Cox Enterprises Inc., a private company that is held by several trusts of which Mrs. Anthony is one of the beneficiaries. Mrs. Anthony donates three ways: privately, through a personal foundation, and through the James M. Cox Foundation. She prefers to make contributions quietly, often anonymously, and wishes that her overall level of charitable giving remain private.

Your estimate of her total giving, $40 million, is grossly understated. You noted only that she "adds just $500,000 annually to her own foundation." While others were credited as being "private" philanthropists, Mrs. Anthony was not. Mrs. Anthony is a generous benefactor. Any suggestion to the contrary does her good works a great disservice.

Brian Farley

Corporate Communications

Cox Enterprises Inc.

Atlanta

Several modern-day philanthropists and the foundations they created shatter the stereotype of "cautious and unimaginative check-writing that dominated charitable giving for decades". Starting in the 1960s, Silicon Valley pioneers David Packard and William Hewlett, through their family foundations, created and funded landmark conservation and environmental-protection programs, saving hundreds of thousands of acres of land from development.

The 1970s saw funding for hospice care, provided in part by New Yorker Arnold Louis van Ameringen through the van Ameringen Foundation, and the establishment of the 911 emergency number, thanks to grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the generosity of the man who built Johnson & Johnson into the seventh-most-admired company in the world.

Sterling Speirn

San Mateo, Calif.

While philanthropy is praiseworthy in principle, your article could have looked more closely at how much of it really helps the poor. I suspect that many of the education, arts, and culture gifts are to elite institutions that service the upper class from which the philanthropists come and help to cement their social ties.

Sandy Weill's back-scratching donation to New York's 92nd Street Y and Alberto Vilar's support of opera are probably more typical than Bill Gates's efforts to improve health care in Third World countries.

Jay Weiser

New York

As one of the (presumably) few subscribers to both BusinessWeek and Poetry magazine, I disagree with John Byrne's suggestion that Ruth Lilly's money would have been better spent elsewhere. He didn't argue that millions for art museums and symphonies were misplaced--why poetry? The success of other organizations' poetry projects--Poetry in Motion, Poetry Month, and the Favorite Poem Project of the Academy of American Poets--shows that verse matters to people. Poetry can now sponsor innovative programs of its own.

Caroline S. West

Los Angeles

You left out two of America's most generous men: Both Stephen Girard in 1948 and Milton Hershey in the early 1900s founded schools for orphans who otherwise would have become burdens to the American taxpayer. Incidentally, I am one of the many Americans who owe their lives and livelihoods to Girard and Hershey.

Joseph Piasecki

Maple Shade, N.J.

Many people suppose that Andrew Carnegie, who was responsible for virtually doubling the number of public libraries in the U.S., also funded their operations. That is not the case. Individual communities were required to pledge a certain level of annual support. Many have continued to do so, and their libraries have grown with the community. Sadly, many others, like their communities, have fallen on hard times and have either been shuttered or demolished. We should all thank those philanthropists who see that investment in public libraries is investment in the future, just as it has always been.

John Hempel

Braddock Hills, Pa.

Silicon Valley could use a few more generous souls. There are great needs for shelter and basic provisions that are heightened by the economic downturn here. With any luck, a few of these philanthropic people will also help others a bit closer to home.

Mary Perkins

Atherton, Calif. I would like to clarify several statements made in "Rebuilding trust in Tyco" (People, Nov. 25). First, I did not participate in a boot camp for neophyte CEOs organized by former Tyco International Ltd. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski. Second, the article includes a statement --from a person who admittedly had never met me and who knew nothing about me--suggesting I was close to Tyco. In fact, my only contact with Kozlowski and his company came in an interview more than 10 years ago before he became CEO. Third, the article's subtitle is: "Wharton's Mike Useem aims to overhaul the management culture [of Tyco]." In truth, my assignment from Tyco's new CEO is not to overhaul anything. It is only to advise him on corporate governance.

Finally, the article states: "On governance matters, Useem is an iconoclast, having staked out positions that set him at odds with his peers." The evidence it offers is that "Useem advocates weaving ethics into the fabric of the company," and "He suggests focusing on integrity as much on business acumen when recruiting directors and making rigorous compliance with ethical standards a condition for promotion." I doubt whether many of my academic peers would be "at odds" with such notions.

Michael Useem

Professor of Management

Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

"Rebuilding trust in Tyco" is gratuitously critical of Michael Useem while missing the real villains: the business press. Useem's experiential approach to leadership training is far from "useless," as your unnamed critics assert, but rather, represents the most successful leadership development and education methods, including those practiced by the U.S. military in their learning-by-doing and after-action reviews. "Unconventional thinking" is exactly what we need if we are to get superior results.

I know of few business executives or corporate directors who believe that Sarbanes-Oxley is anything other than a full employment act for corporate lawyers. Useem's insight on the importance of culture is exactly correct--formal procedures will inevitably be ineffective because, as even Arthur Andersen recognizes, in a culture of fraud and corruption, it will be impossible to catch or find anything.

If I had a dollar for every business journalist who heaped praise on Enron Corp. (or Tyco, for that matter), I could retire. The business press has been a major culprit in creating a culture venerating the celebrity CEO, has more often promoted rather than questioned dubious fads, and has been amazingly uncritical of its role in promoting the pursuit of (often temporary) stock-price maximization that is one of the causes of most of the current financial scandals.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Graduate School of Business

Stanford University

Stanford, Calif. "The battle over a radical new plane" (Science & Technology, Nov. 25) provides a distorted view of Boeing Co.'s efforts to evaluate new technologies and bring new commercial airplanes to market. Our employees and our culture promote innovation and new ideas, fund exploration of alternative concepts, and technologies, and encourage internal debate and discussion.

Through 10-for-10 successful product launches, we have dramatically changed the landscape of the industry and improved the public's ability to travel safely, conveniently, and economically. And we will continue to do so. Our success will be determined by the value we create for our customers, employees, communities, and shareholders.

Alan Mulally

President and CEO

Commercial Airplanes

Boeing Co.

Seattle As legal counsel to the class representatives who filed the lawsuit against Salomon Smith Barney, helped negotiate the settlement, and participated in the creative and effective process outlined in the settlement agreement, we wish to expand on some of the information contained in the book review of Tales From the Boom-Boom Room ("Sex and the Street," Books, Nov. 25).

As part of the class action settlement, Salomon Smith Barney has allocated $15 million to implement a diversity program to hire and retain qualified women and minorities as brokers, analysts, and investment bankers; linked managers' compensation to women's success at the firm; dramatically increased the percentage of female branch managers, brokers, and broker trainees; and has put all employees on notice that the firm would not tolerate sexual harassment. More than 1,800 claims have been settled of the 1,950 filed, involving substantial sums of money.

While there is still plenty of room for improvement at Salomon Smith Barney and in the rest of the securities industry, this landmark settlement has been followed by profound progress for thousands of women working in the brokerage industry. In fact, other Wall Street firms have eliminated mandatory arbitration as a condition of employment, benefiting women and minorities with discrimination claims. The NASD and the New York Stock Exchange have eliminated the mandatory arbitration requirement from their registration forms, a major victory, considering that the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the practice of mandatory arbitration.

Mary Stowell

Linda Friedman

Stowell & Friedman Ltd.

Chicago


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