Meet the Old Boss
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – FORTUNE: Good morning. In keeping with the theme of this issue of our magazine, today we are going to be speaking with an individual who has brought health, fitness, and wellness to new heights over an executive career that has spanned some eight decades--from the era of the three-martini lunch to the present, when even junior vice presidents have cellular cranial implants that keep them in touch via geosynchronous satellite. It's our pleasure to be speaking with the 100-year-old executive.

BING: Thank you. It's great to be here. At my age it's great to be anyplace.

When were you born, Mr. Bing?

In 1951. A foggy day, I believe it was. Don't contradict me!

We weren't going to.

I haven't been contradicted since 2013. That guy is dead now! Dead!

And you became an exec...when?

The year was 1984. I threatened to move to another corporation, and all of a sudden I was a VP. Ha!

And now it's 2051! You've been an executive for 67 years. That's amazing.

They're all dead now. Dead. Except for me! I'm a rock!

What explains your longevity?

I read this issue of FORTUNE back at the end of 2001 and basically did everything they said to do. What a great bunch of people ran that magazine back then!

As opposed to now, I suppose.

Certainly! Everything is worse today. We had cigar bars back then, before tobacco was outlawed in the '20s. And oh, boy, the kind of steak you could get at Sparks back in 2002!

Surely all that smoking and animal fat was bad for you?

It was all bad for me. The booze. The fatty foods. The stress. Basically, I've been sick since 2025 or so, when I hit my 70s and had a midlife crisis. But what the hell. I'm going to outlive every other boomer on the block. (Laughs.)

Yes, but how? What helps you keep going?

Meanness. Sheer meanness. And an amazing amount of pills, dietary supplements, an exercise regimen that would kill a Sherpa, a diet of unbelievable boredom, and a very active social life.

Yes, you are pictured in all the newspapers squiring around a lot of women. You're 100 years old! How do you do it?

I don't know what you're talking about.

Moving on, let's discuss the beginning of your career. What was happening in business then?

It was the '80s. Everybody drank at lunch. Vodka! Wine! Scotch! We walked around drunk all afternoon. And did it hurt business? Of course not! The only thing that's bad for business is all this sobriety and good judgment! Back then we couldn't get out of the way of the money! It was flowing in the streets. People who couldn't tie their shoelaces had big jobs. It was great. Of course, we had stupid stuff to deal with too. The Quality Process! What a bunch of boneheads! Later we had reengineering all over the place, and of course the consultants that came along with it. Now you've got the Generation X guys in their 80s and 90s getting a little eager for the top slots. If they think they can unseat our generation, they've got another think coming. We were at Woodstock, baby!

Who was the greatest business person you ever met?

Me. I'm the greatest business person I ever met, and I know everybody.

What's your management style?

I make everybody else do everything I can possibly fob off. And I don't get angry anymore either. All the angry guys are dead or--worse--playing golf every day like gerbils in a maze. I figure, what's the point of getting annoyed about anything? In 20 or 30 years nobody will remember anything about it, and I'll still be here with an increasing number of vested options--although they're not vesting the way they used to! This latest flight won't go completely into the money until 2075! How long do they think I'm going to live?! [Coughs.]

Moving away from you for a moment, if that's possible, what are the major challenges facing the American corporation today? There are still several governments around the world that are unsponsored by state capitalism. We have to open those markets if we want the American corporation to continue to eradicate national boundaries and grow profits on a global basis.

What idols do you look up to? Who were your heroes on the way up?

I don't know. I've always had a soft spot in what remains of my heart for Ron Popiel, who invented the pocket fisherman, a fishing pole you could collapse and fit in your pocket. Some years later he sold a fantastic rotisserie gizmo you could use in your oven and cook a chicken perfectly in, like, half an hour. It also did corn on the cob and lobster, with a special attachment, I think. I must have watched that 30-minute infomercial 20,000 times, and every time it brought me a sense of peace and a deep regard for the infinite potential of the business mind.

Many executives half your age have keeled over from a variety of ailments, some of them quite willingly. How do you feel?

Never better. I eat like a Buddhist monk. I walk ten miles a day, every day, on my treadmill. I take in as many herbs, minerals, and supplements as a house plant. I've had a colonoscopy every two years since the year 2000. In fact, every year I get tested for everything top to bottom, and I'm as strong and durable as a 1960 Rolls-Royce! With the improvements in medicine and current employment laws against ageism, I could be around here for another 50 or 60 years!

God help us.

Hey! I may be old, but I ain't deaf! Betty! Bring in my 4:30 IV drip and get this clown out of here!

We were just leaving anyway. We've got a budget meeting with Mr. Pearlstine in half an hour, and he doesn't like to be kept waiting.

Is he still around? Well, that's good news! Tell the old geezer I said hi!

By day, STANLEY BING is a real executive at a real FORTUNE 500 company he'd rather not name. He can be reached at