CENVEO INC. — REBUILDING WINNERS
“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing—the result.”—Vince Lombardi
THE MEETING had just broken up between a commercial printer and a group of Moore Corp. senior executives, led by Robert Burton, and some subordinates. Burton had come to town to discuss acquiring this particular commercial printer, and was preparing for his trip back home to Stamford, CT.
Before leaving, a thirsty Burton asks one of his lower-level subordinates to go back into the facility for a soda. So the employee heads back inside and ambles into the conference room, where he finds an executive of the printing company. The subordinate recounts Burton’s request, obtains a soda and makes for the exit.
“Wait,” the printing executive calls out to Burton’s subordinate. “Do you want one for (another Moore executive)?”
The subordinate furrows his brow.
“Screw him,” he exclaims. “I work for Bob Burton.”
* * *
In The Great Gatsby, an F. Scott Fitzgerald character marveled at fictional gambling kingpin Meyer Wolfsheim (modeled after gangster/gambler Arnold Rothstein) and his role in the fixing of baseball’s 1919 World Series: “It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of 50 million people—with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.”
Robert Gene Burton is not unlike Wolfsheim in some regards. During his illustrious career as a printing executive for World Color, Moore Corp. and now Cenveo Inc., Burton has held the fate of thousands of employees in his hands. Some of those workers would go through a wall for Burton. Others would prefer to smash Burton’s head through the wall; hence, the need for a bodyguard. Perhaps no single executive in the entire printing industry has developed a more polarized persona.