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Expensive makeover, Stripping down costs
Good day for poor taste, Bad day for the centerfold
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OOD DAY FOR: Poor taste, after it emerged that just-ousted Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $1.22 million to redecorate his office suite after being named to the post in early 2008, as the bank was reeling from losses that eventually forced it to sell out to Bank of America. The office revamp, overseen by celebrity designer Michael E. Smith, included $87,784 for a rug, $28,091 for curtains, $68,179 for a 19th century credenza, and $35,115 for a “commode on legs.” Thain also paid his driver $230,000 for one year’s work. (CNBC)

BAD DAY FOR: The centerfold, as Playboy is making plans to merge its print and online operations, in a bid to better compete with the wide variety of free and abundant naked content on the Internet. Playboy is also diversifying by opening nightclubs and pursuing other non-media ventures. (Silicon Alley Insider)

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