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In softball interview with hometown paper, Forest City Enterprises CEO Chuck Ratner stresses integrity, openness, and candor

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, hometown paper of Forest City Enterprises, today offers a Q&A headlined Charles Ratner, president and CEO of Forest City Enterprises Inc.: Talk With the Boss.

The relevant section for Atlantic Yards watchers, is this:
The Question: What other key lessons have you learned?

The Answer: Perhaps the lessons that I've learned are best described by the core values that we have worked to develop and celebrate at our company. First among those is integrity. I guess what I've learned, as much as anything, is what goes around comes around, as they say. It's extremely important to conduct yourself with a sense of your own integrity, and then make sure that there's organizational integrity, institutional integrity.

The second is openness and candor. I think much of what we've seen recently, in the world both of public and private enterprise, is that that openness is often compromised. People are afraid to deliver bad news. There are always challenges there, and you need to know about them if you hope to deal with them.

Earlier this week, in a friendly profile in the New York Times, his cousin Bruce Ratner sounded a little more defensive:
“There’s a bittersweet feeling in having a majority owner in Brooklyn not be us,” he said, acknowledging his many critics will scoff because “when a developer speaks it’s not always believed.”
Maybe there's good reason for that, as I wrote.

As for openness and candor, there's DDDB's list of 20 times Forest City Ratner chose the opposite tack.


  1. Yes, Forest City is prideful of its integrity. Such integrity as orchestrating/condoning hooliganism at public hearings and legislative hearings


    Holding off new development ownership details until after public approvals.


    Lying about the condition of a neighborhood.


    Paying off community groups to deliver their market-tested message.


    Moving the goalpost, constantly, when it comes to the purpose and benefits of Atlantic Yards.


    Running/funding candidates in losing attempts to knock of opponents w/o admitting it.


    Lying about opponents to their project.


    Showing real renderings of their project.


    Demolishing a neighborhood and claiming it is for the neighborhood's benefit rather than its shareholders' benefit.



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