Outgoing Simon & Schuster CEO Jack Romanos is flanked at his retirement party by, from left to right (ironically enough): Mary Matalin, Lee Iacocca, Mary Higgins Clark, Vince Flynn, Paula Deen, and James Carville. Others who came to pay tribute to Romanos in his final weeks as head of the company included Les Moonves, Carolyn Reidy, Ian Chapman of the company’s UK division, Kevin Hanson from Canada, American operations leader Joe D’Onofrio, etc., etc. As Carville quipped from the lectern, “Jack, your company has learned how to get a big turnout at a retirement party—and that’s to give everyone a speaking part.” There were also gifts, including a specially commissioned piece of aboriginal art from the Australian branch, a pop-up book called The House that Jack Built from the children’s division, and a nickel-plated “executive” Rubik’s Cube (which, you’ll recall, marked Romanos’s first major publishing triumph). Oh, and Paula Deen said Romanos will never have to wait in line at her restaurant in Savannah, which is where he’s headed once he leaves the office at the end of the year.
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