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Thursday February 23, 2017
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Tom and Russ

 

continued

"I thought I'd learn from this guy," Monaghan explained. "I listened to him talk for hours about how brilliant he is. I'd sit there and listen and listen and listen. I was a very patient man because I wanted to learn. I wanted to take the next step for the company."

"Russ deliberately created a mystique about his role," Monaghan wrote in his autobiography, "and I have to admit that I was mesmerized by it. After he'd been on the job six months, I boosted his salary to $25,000 a year [the equivalent of $127,000 today]. To show my appreciation for the outstanding performance he turned in, I bought him a used Rolls-Royce as a company car."

But being president wasn't enough for Hughes. "One Friday morning," Monaghan wrote, "he came into my office and said he had something important to discuss with me. I canceled all my appointments, and he spent the entire day and part of the night outlining his plan for a leveraged buyout of the company by himself and his friends. He said he was giving me a unique opportunity."

It was unique. Hughes and his friends wouldn't pay Monaghan anything up front. Instead, they promised to send him a check every month for the rest of his life. Monaghan asked him his plans for Domino's, and Hughes told him he'd dump the franchisees and keep only corporate stores.

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