Bureaucratic Shuffle is a statue of a grossly porcine businessman in pinstripes and a boozy smile, six fleshy legs coiling below an engorged waist. Until early this week the statue was set prominently in the Nathan Hale Lobby of the Tribune Towers in Chicago, the building that houses Sam Zell’s media conglomerate. It was intended as a warning, a reminder of everything Zell — who installed the piece upon purchasing the company — did not want his leadership to succumb to. But with the CEO and chief innovation officer both ousted this month and the company still negotiating the terms of its bankruptcy, Bureaucratic Shuffle became too much of a mirror.
The Chicago Reader reported Tuesday that the statue was rolled out of the Tribune Towers earlier this week, and the timing indicates that the two executive removals precipitated this artistic one. The Tribune Company has yet to comment on the aesthetic decision.
This morning, David Carr wrote a post for the Media Decoder blog at The New York Times about Bureaucratic Shuffle and its departure from the scene. Carr says the decision was sent down from the four-person interim board that was instated after CEO Randy Michaels was forced out earlier this month, and that one employee told him “people are pretty happy about it.”