A headline too far?
Some readers think that the headline on this interview with Seagate CEO Bill Watkins was over the top. In a freewheeling exchange with Fortune's Jeffrey O'Brien, Watkins said: "Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

I personally and professionally found that statement to be astounding, as well as funny and remarkably self-deprecating. That's why, as O'Brien's editor on this story, I moved the quote high up in the story, and also turned it into a headline that, yes, I thought would grab the reader's attention. Does that make us, as one reader put it, "right up there with the tabloids"? I didn't think so, but I'm sensitive to readers' concerns, so let me say for the record: We're certainly not trying to say that Watkins or Seagate promotes pornography per se. I suppose if you read the headline without reading the rest of the story, you might think that we were. So if that's misleading, I apologize. At the same time, I think readers would do better to focus on the fact that a CEO of a public company that makes computer hard drives really did say that the end result of his firm's product is helping people buy more crap and watch porn. Also, it's worth noting that a number of readers wrote to O'Brien saying that the interview made Watkins look like a genuine leader. So go figure.
Posted by Jim Ledbetter 12:32 PM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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