Author Catherine Neal Discusses Taking Down the Lion

Catherine Neal

News Story: February 23, 2014

Northern Kentucky University associate professor and author, Catherine Neal, visited Sacred Heart University recently to discuss her book, Taking Down the Lion, which made its debut in early January. The book sheds a positive spin on Tyco’s former CEO, Dennis Kozlowski.

Neal’s book was released just days before Kozlowski was granted parole from an eight-year prison sentence for grand larceny. His home during that time has been the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, N.Y. Neal described Kozlowski as an extremely hard-working individual, even from his youth. She told the story of how Kozlowski went from being one of the most admired CEOs, living an extravagant lifestyle, to convicted felon.

Neal said the destruction of the man was a result of “a perfect storm.” Some of the elements that conspired to create his downfall were the recession, September 11, a wave of high-profile scandals, internal disagreements and the decline of the price of Tyco stock. Kozlowski’s commendable reputation and strong company track record were significantly weakened as a result. In addition, Neal concluded, the media did not help his situation.

“The amount of inaccuracy reported on this case is shocking,” she said. “After the indictment, the media changed their minds about Kozlowski.” She holds media sensationalism responsible for the case snowballing out of control.  

Neal said she expected her conclusions on the Tyco scandal might be criticized. However, her investigation did not find any hard evidence to convict Kozlowski of any criminal activity. “There were no secrets. All evidence was in the records,” she said.

Neal is completely satisfied with where her curiosity led her. “When you have the opportunity to tell the truth, do it. The truth matters,” said Neal, who teaches business ethics and business law.

The event was sponsored by Sacred Heart’s John F. Welch College of Business, Department of Communication and Media Studies and Department of Criminal Justice