Michael had words with several WebEx employees. The rank and file were curious and supportive. They furtively sought Michael’s leaflets and shared tales of white collar crime. The security detail was sheepish. They stuck to his tail like dingleberries, their name badges reversed, taking pictures and whispering into walkie-talkies. The bolder among them volunteered opinions. Michael might have been threatened in the names of WebEx and Min Zhu by their competitors. By the same token, O.J. Simpson might really be looking for Nicole’s killer on those golf courses. Surely Michael is mixing up personal issues with business. By the same token, he was not the first to interbreed these pursuits. As the troops retreated, Michael saw an important character kvetching to the cop assigned to keep the peace at the Westin St. Francis. He asked his victim to confirm being Bill Heil, Min Zhu’s replacement as WebEx President. The sorrowful executive acknowledged his identity and asked Michael for his name. Michael played along by introducing himself. Then he told Heil that this issue would end only by WebEx talking to him. An act of contrition is in order. Michael expects nothing of the sort, but it is gratifying to think that every step along the way will leave his adversaries with retrospective misgivings over not having cried uncle sooner.
The hotel looked to have at least 1/3 of its nearly 1,195 rooms taken by conference attendees. The conference fee was a little shy of $600. That makes for a quarter million dollar loss on the WebEx balance sheet. For starters.