Friday, October 05, 2007

Klein, Trounson, Hall: The Bee Looks Briefly at Leadership

The Sacramento Bee today carried an account of the recruitment of Alan Trounson as president of the California stem cell agency, including commentary on the future working relationship between him and California stem cell chairman Robert Klein.

Klein and former President Zach Hall sometimes appeared at loggerheads, if not worse, although the management and policy disputes were largely papered over in public.

Trounson told Bee reporter Jim Downing that he has "no concerns" about working with Klein. Trounson said,
"I think our skills are complementary and we are well suited for a very productive partnership. Bob Klein has a wealth of experience in finance, law, bonds, political connections and advocacy. That is worth tapping for the timely delivery of our outcomes."
Klein told Downing that he anticipated a smooth relationship.
"Dr. Trounson ... views this board as a resource that he can jointly make decisions with. Dr. Hall was accustomed to being a deputy dean at a medical school, where what he said goes. I deeply respect the contribution made by Dr. Hall, but ... his was a difficult leadership style."
Hall characterized Trounson's selection as a "wonderful, wonderful appointment." Hall said,
"The good news is that Bob (Klein) has recruited him and Bob has spent a lot of time with him. So I'm very hopeful the two of them will be able work together effectively. I think that's extremely important."
The Bee's story comes long after the appointment was announced. One reason for that is the poor media handling of the Trounson announcement. In this case, The Bee, a large and influential newspaper in the state capital, was not notified in time to participate in the the news conference, The announcement, controlled by Klein, came late Friday afternoon, one of the worst days and times for generating good news coverage and maximum attention. In fact, Friday afternoon is when many skilled media relations persons release bad news as part of an effort to minimize attention. In this case, the Trounson announcement was a "good news" story that could have received considerably more attention if properly handled. Sphere: Related Content

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