New York's Worst Bosses: Peter Arnell

With your help, we've ID'd 14 of the potentially worst bosses in New York. We'll be parading them in front of you daily, and when we're done, we'll all decide together who's the worst. Feel free to shout out your suggestions if any of these tales joggles a traumatized (or happy) memory!

Peter Arnell is founder and chief creative officer of Arnell Group, a PR firm that's a wholly owned subsidiary of PR megacorp Omnicom. Arnell Group has clients like Donna Karan, DKNY, ConEd, and Samsung. Arnell is known as a branding guru. He's also known as a big meanie.

After Arnell's name was mentioned in the bad boss comments, a tipster wrote to defend the man. "It's all true. Arnell is a difficult boss as well as a sadist with a lower case, sans serif s. He's also a crude bully, a terrible coward and famously insincere. But, in his favor, when he's not pretending to kiss the ass of insipid rich, famous and powerful, he shows a refreshing contempt for authority and takes an anarchistic delight in creative destruction. His saving grace is that the man is ultimately an aesthete. Of his many fetishes, his love of beauty has compelled him to create some of the most beautiful advertising work in the last twenty years."

You can judge for yourself on that "most beautiful advertising work" score. We're more interested in what Arnell needs to be defended against. On the 'sadist' tip, we hear that he made one assistant lean over while he played her behind like bongo drums. A tipster says that he has seriously arm-twisted fired employees into staying on to train their replacements. (Ah, what won't wage-slaves do for a good recommendation?) And he's also been accused of "trashing" studios solely for the pleasure of forcing underlings to clean up.

How's this: "Once he freaked out in a meeting because a CD did not work in the CD player, so he took the CD out and smashed it in to pieces on the conference room table. The IT guy , who was standing behind him, ended up going to the hospital because the shards from the CD flew into his eyes." Carnage!

This is fun too: " When you go to a meeting in his office, he makes everyone wait at the door, then directs each person where to sit by hierarchy and whatever mood he's feeling."

He does sound like a little bit of a sadist, and those glasses do strike us as fetishy. But if anyone else has anything to contribute on that "with a lower case, sans serif s" tip, we're all ears!



Earlier:
Evil Bosses