Industry News

The steady hand of Cendant’s Henry Silverman

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Last week, the news about the trials of former Cendant executives E. Kirk Shelton and Walter Forbes got us thinking about how well Cendant chieftain Henry Silverman and his number one lieutenant Richard Smith have guided Cendant in the last 10 years. In split decisions, Shelton was convicted of fraud but the judge declared a mistrial on 16 counts against Forbes after the jury could not reach a verdict. We remember when CUC International, the company Forbes led before it was merged with Silverman's HFS, was considered one of the smartest and most creative marketing companies in the country. The hotshot direct marketer gang that ran CUC had a glow; they were smooth, cutting-edge and a tad eccentric. Their books were also being cooked, which came to light after the merger. In the post-Enron era, Cendant may not have survived the $500 million fraud case. Indeed it looked like the entire Cendant enterprise might go down with the scandal as its stock plummeted and the company paid $2.8...