Chapter 25

It was during this time that another boss was put in over my head. Kim Still came from Engineering and provided service from the Program office. He moved into Sales as an Assistant to Marketing, but with his obvious connection to the new President, John Brizendine, became the Director, replacing Bill Weathers when he was moved out of Marketing and retired. Kim seemed to be one that would let me do my thing and I believe he understood that before he became a Director. Kim surely had his own agenda about the structure of the Marketing Department; he wanted his people. At first, because of the activity, it was difficult to see what was coming, but it came.

It was at the sale of the MD-80s to Republic that provided what we were going to be facing. Bud Sweet wanted 3 million dollars concession on each of the MD-80s he wanted to purchase. I had offered him 1 million dollars as a start and told him that because of his request, it would be out of my pay grade and I would have to bring somebody else to discuss his request. Kim had recently taken his new position and we brought John McDonnell, who was now President of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, to meet Bud.

Through conversations prior to this, I was able to get Buds request down from 3 million to 1.5 million dollars per aircraft. I wanted to finish the sale at that point, but Kim wanted John involved. The three of us sat down with Bud and Dan May, and we had reached a point with Bud at 1 million 450 thousand and John at 1 million 350 thousand. Bud was waiting for John to settle at 1.4 million, but John just sat there. I wanted to tell him to settle at 1.4 million, but he would not move. Bud was getting uncomfortable and was beginning to turn red in the face. Bud closed the meeting and we walked out to the hall. John turned to me and said, "I guess I blew it," I said, "yes." John then asked if I thought I could save it, I said I would try and went to Dans office. Dan was waiting for me, and after a few minutes we reconvened in Buds office and settled at 1.4 million dollars per aircraft.

If I could have left them both home, we would settled at that level without any assistance and not have made Bud mad. This was the last good session with Republic, as things began to get worse.