Monday, February 2, 2015

Former Acxiom boss Charles Morgan publishes a tells-a-lot memoir

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 10:22 AM

click to enlarge charles-morgan-matters-of-life-and-data-book.jpg

Arkansas Business reports this morning on some of the interesting aspects of former Acxiom CEO Charles Morgan's memoir, "Matters of Life and Data."

Salty language and a frank account of Morgan's womanizing while still married to his first wife gets a mention in the Arkansas Business report.

Then, there’s the women issue. From the book, page 226:

“My infatuation with C**** C*** hardly survived the summer, and soon I was seeing several women. ‘The big joke around the office,’ says Cindy Childers, ‘was that because Charles wasn’t good with names, we should get name tags for his dates to wear so he didn’t get confused.’”

Pretty PG. Except he was married at the time and he doesn’t use asterisks. He names names.

His divorce — subject of a cover story here long ago because of Faulkner County judges' decisions (including now Supreme Court Justice Karen Baker)  to seal the entire record of the case — gets covered, too.

And then there’s the divorce from his first wife, Jane Dills Morgan, the woman who, Morgan relates, got pregnant just months after their wedding so her new husband wouldn’t have to go to Vietnam (page 71).

About that divorce (page 226): “Two-and-a-half years — that’s how long the hell would go on. It would disrupt not just my personal life, but also the corporate life of Acxiom itself.”

As your Whispers staff remembers it, Jane Morgan also found the divorce disruptive.

Although Morgan says he’s softened toward his ex-wife, he remains angry at her divorce attorney, Little Rock lawyer Stephen Engstrom, whom he describes as the “meanest, most tenacious Jack Russell terrier of an attorney in our part of the country” (page 226).

Morgan writes that Jane, pushed by Engstrom, was trying to prove she was the power behind Acxiom’s rise, a contention he calls “absurd.”

“We were in no way contesting the Arkansas law that said she gets half of all community property. The question was, how do you define half?”

How you define half mattered when half of the Morgan estate would have equaled $50 million.

But accommodations were made and Charles Morgan got his divorce on Nov. 7, 1997. Jane Morgan got about $37 million of Charles Morgan’s Acxiom stock, leaving him with about 8 percent of the company’s stock.

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