“Billionaire Sam Zell has been removed as a keynote speaker at a Mizuho Americas conference following a vulgar comment he made about women earlier this month,” reports Bloomberg.
“I never promoted a woman because she was a woman,” Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments (EGI) and Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), said at the REITweek investor conference hosted by NAREIT in New York. ELS’ president is a woman, Margarette Nader, and an interview with her is at this link.
“I never demoted a woman because she was a woman. My issue is what do you do, what do you produce, how do you interrelate to the rest of the business,” Zell said.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a, ‘We gotta get more p—- on the block, OK?'” Zell said.
Zell Scrubbed from Presenters List
“Zell was slated as the speaker during lunch at the Mizuho global REIT and real estate conference on June 27 at the Lotte New York Palace hotel, according to a May invitation that described him as a “prolific real estate entrepreneur,” said the Chicago Tribune.
“Terry Holt, a representative for Zell at Chicago-based Equity Group Investments Inc., said he canceled his trip to New York due to a scheduling conflict. Zell spoke at the same conference last year,” Bloomberg said, adding “A spokesperson for Mizuho Americas, an arm of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., wasn’t immediately available to comment.”
“Zell infamously told an [female] Orlando Sentinel journalist “f— you!” when answering her questions about journalistic priorities in 2008, shortly after acquiring the paper, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Ironically, Zell has been publicizing a new book of his called, “Am I Being too Subtle? Straight Talk From a Business Rebel.”
“In an email to attendees dated June 11, the conference organizers said Zell had reached out after the event to apologize for the remark and “express his regret” to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or Nareit, community,” per Bloomberg.
But Zell’s name no longer appears on an updated schedule sent to clients in the past week, said the Chicago Tribune.
Holt said that Zell’s next speaking engagement is in the fall, but declined to identify the event.
Zell has previously addressed manufactured home industry community operators in a fall event. Two articles published by MHProNews – at the links here and here – cover Zell’s statements about the communities industry, finance, and manufactured housing in depth. Zell’s statements cited by MHProNews were all confirmed by a senior ELS official.
Testing the Limits
“All my life I’ve wanted to test my limits. Whatever goals you set, you need to constantly readjust them so that at no time do you reach your goals before your time is up. When it’s all said and done, the petroleum of the real estate industry has always been capital,” said Zell per QuoteWise.
Zell appeared earlier this month on CNBC, where he spoke about the economy, tax reform and investing. That video with the colorful mogul is posted above.
Several media outlets covering the p-word bruhaha have noted the timing of the vulgarity, given the increased sensitivity due to the #MeToo movement.
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