Meltdown Mike is not alone in his public pickle

Gabriella Griffith
POOR Michael Bay – the Transformers director had a very public meltdown earlier this week when he introduced Samsung’s new 150-inch TV at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The director lost his place on the teleprompter, fluffed his lines and walked off stage in a huff.

But Bay can console himself with the fact that many public figures lose their cool – the business world is full of examples. Here are a few of The Capitalist’s favourites:

1. Richard Branson
The Virgin tycoon chucked a glass of water at US TV presenter Stephen Colbert back in 2007 when it transpired he wasn’t allowed to mentioned his (then) new airline on air.

2. AOL boss Tim Armstrong
In August of last year, the chief executive of AOL flew off the handle and fired someone in front of almost 1,000 employees. The very public, impromptu dismissal happened during a conference call with staff at Patch, a local news network owned by AOL.

It was Patch’s creative director Abel Lenz who got the chop – Armstrong later offered Lenz an apology...but not his job back.

3. Lord Sugar
The Apprentice star got into a heated and public scrap with Channel 5’s Richard Desmond in May 2013 after a YouView board meeting. Amid a stream of expletives Desmond shouted, “You’re fired!” at Lord Sugar. Bet that went down well.