Obama Likes Oval Office Digs

Jan 22, 2009 3:34pm

ABC News’ Stu Schutzman reports: Paint was still drying on the White House walls yesterday when the Obama family moved into their new Pennsylvania Avenue address. Even though it’s already exceedingly comfortable and well appointed, an interior designer is helping them re-tool the place a bit to better fit their family needs. All in all, Mr. Obama seems quite happy with his new digs. "The President enjoys living above the company store," said his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today. The "company store" would be the West Wing, which houses the offices of the Leader of the Free World and his staff. The President says he is quite happy with the décor in his office, that would be the Oval Office, and will leave it pretty much the way he found it. Which got me thinking about executive suites, of which the Oval Office is the ultimate. The Daily Beast.com reports today that freshly fired Meryl Lynch CEO John Thain had spent more than a million dollars to redecorate the office he took over in 2007. A million plus for rugs and chairs and drapes and a designer to pull it all together. By the way, that would be the same designer the White House just hired for a fraction of what Thain paid. Wretched excess indeed. It reminded me of a visit to Intel a few years ago and particularly to its chairman Andy Grove’s "executive suite" — that would be — his "cubicle." That’s right "cubicle." The head of the largest semi conductor manufacturer in the world worked in a area no larger than any other Intel employee. No trappings, no $87,000 rugs, no $20,000 drapes. Grove was no fool; his egalitarian approach at Intel made for an extremely efficient and productive work force. A great corporate model, then and now, in these tough times.

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