Matthew Budman

I'm a freelance writer and editor, mostly on business and social issues, and author of Book Collecting Now: The Value of Print in a Digital Age. I've spent my life immersed in words, and it's great to have a place to put many of them. Here are most of my post-college bylined articles, organized loosely by category, including a section with entire issues of The Conference Board Review, which I edited for six years.

Over the years at Across the Board and The Conference Board Review, I conducted several dozen Q&As, with thought leaders and authors, on everything from corporate failures to office romance to economic forecasts to Joe Montana's football career.

Collapse: Q&A with former Circuit City CEO Alan Wurtzel

When a company is cruising along, earnings and share price high, every move seems like the right one, inexorably leading to success, as though it were planned that way. On a downward trajectory, every strategic shift looks disastrous—in retrospect, obviously so. Circuit City enjoyed a run as a good company before becoming a great company, one worthy of a Jim Collins profile in his 2001 bestseller "Good to Great." And then, after fifty years in business, everything went to hell.

Flying the (Occasionally) Friendly Skies: Q&A with former Southwest CEO Jim Parker

Soft-spoken and self-deprecating, with a gentle drawl, James F. Parker doesn't fit the model of the hard-charging American CEO. And that role isn't one he ever intended to play: He served as Southwest Airlines' general counsel for fifteen years before flamboyant co-founder Herb Kelleher tapped him as his successor. A few months after taking the reins, Parker found himself facing the worst crisis in memory, as the September 11 attacks threw the airline industry into total disarray.

Who's Winning the Hunger Games?: Q&A with Michael Moss

For years, New York Times reporter Michael Moss has been delivering the inside story on what we eat, and the result hasn’t always made readers hungry—in 2010, he won a Pulitzer Prize for “relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues.” Two words: pink slime. In his new book, "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" (Random House), Moss writes about far more appealing grocery items: Lay’s Potato Chips and Dr Pepper and Snickers and Hot Pockets and Chips Ahoy! and Pop-Tarts and Capri Sun and Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Men Not at Work: Q&A with Hanna Rosin

“For women, there’s still the question of diversity at the very top,” says Hanna Rosin, and indeed, articles and books continue to lament how few female CEOs and directors populate the corner offices of corporate America. But just a level or two down, women not only have achieved equity—in many industries and professions, they have surpassed men, and that fact has enormous implications for both employers and employees.

Balancing Act: Q&A with Gen. George Casey, U.S. Army chief of staff

These are turbulent times for the U.S. Army, a massive organization that’s still not quite big enough to handle the extraordinary demands being placed on it. As chief of staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. is on the hook for recruiting, training, and retaining troops to fight two wars—and planning for any number of unforeseen crises—all while operating at a level of accountability and transparency that your average Fortune 500 CEO would find untenable.

A Higher Consciousness: Q&A with Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey

“Do you know how most corporations get their mission statement?” John Mackey asks. “They hire consultants who come in and write it for them. So it’s not authentic; it didn’t come out of the essence of what that business is.” Mackey, cofounder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, is severely critical of business as traditionally practiced. Basically, he’d like every company to be run as his own is: highly collaborative, egalitarian, empowering, green, and closely integrated with the community—in other words, conscious.

Stop Texting Under the Table: Q&A with Barbara Pachter

How does one dress for a Skype conversation with an etiquette expert? Barbara Pachter writes: “Make sure your clothing is appropriate. Just because you are not meeting in person does not mean the interviewer or business associate cannot see what you are wearing. And don’t assume only your upper body is showing. Dress professionally from head to toe.” Honestly, “. . . to toe” seemed excessive, and fortunately, Pachter didn’t insist on a full-body scan.

What's the Story? Q&A with Peter Guber

As a movie producer, Peter Guber is responsible for bringing to life dozens of our best-loved stories, from Rain Man and The Color Purple to Terminator 2 and Groundhog Day. Guber, 69, is a towering figure in the entertainment world, with a résumé that encompasses many of the most popular films and TV shows of the last thirty years: studio chief at Columbia Pictures; co-founder of Casablanca Record and Filmworks; chairman and CEO of PolyGram Entertainment; chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment; and finally founder, chairman, and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment.

From Operational to Strategic to Tactical: Bart van Ark's 2011 economic forecast

So when does the good economic news arrive? Not just yet, according to Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board. His “pessimistic” 2011 forecast takes into account a global environment still reeling from broad shocks and lacking a clear path to stability. Key to thriving in a climate of uncertainty and tensions, van Ark says, is strong corporate leadership and government readiness to encourage innovation.
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