Bauer exec reveals battles with incoming new boss previous time they worked together

Go writes about

Go: Talked to lawyer

A soon-to-be-published memoir from senior Bauer executive Marina Go claims she had to threaten legal action last time she worked with the company’s incoming boss Nick Chan.

The book from Go went to press before Chan was announced as Bauer’s new CEO earlier this month. Go today told Mumbrella that the incident was more than 20 years ago, and she was now on good terms with him.

In the book, ‘Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders’, Go details her decision to leave ACP Magazines – now Bauer Media – after Chan tried to take away her company car when she returned from maternity leave and stepped down from editing Dolly.

After she threatened legal action, she kept the car, but realised she had no future at the company.

In the book Go explains her decision to step down as editor from Dolly magazine coincided with her first pregnancy, returning to ACP Magazines, which was then owned by Kerry Packer, to join Cosmopolitan as managing editor.

After receiving multiple job offers, Go writes that she “didn’t have a reason to leave ACP, other than perhaps a better salary” and “then on a random day in paradise, I was handed my reason on a platter – no need to go searching”.

In the book she reveals that Chan wanted to take away her car because her new boss Pat Ingram already had the perk. She writes:

nick chan

Chan: Will soon be Go’s boss again

“I was walking along the corridor, from the lift back to the Cosmo office, when I bumped into Nick Chan, who I hadn’t seen for a while.

“How’s it going?” he asked.

“Great,” I replied.

“Good. We’ll need your car back,” he said.

As the editor of Dolly, my salary package had consisted of a meagre salary (but I wasn’t complaining) and a company car (a major bonus).

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“Only editors get a company car and Pat is the editor. She has the company car,” he said matter-of-factly.

“I’m assuming then that you’ll be increasing my salary to make up for the car?” I asked, with a bit more anger than I would have liked, in hindsight.

“No, we’re just taking back the car,” he said and scurried off.

I was so angry by the time I go back to Cosmo that Pat wanted to know what had happened.

I explained the conversation I’d had with Nick to her and she shook her head.

“Leave it with me,” she said.

I assumed she would sort things out but then about a week later I was called to Nick’s office to discuss the car matter. I the meantime I’d had a quiet chat with some lawyer friends.

I was angry when I arrived at Nick’s office and explained to him I wasn’t an idiot who could be screwed around. I knew my rights and I was prepared to defend them

“I’ll sue ACP if I have to,” I said before leaving Nick’s office.

Yes, that’s right. I had suggested I could fight ACP and Kerry Packer in court for the right to keep my company car.

Even though I didn’t hear of the matter again – mainly because Nick would turn and run if he saw me in the corridor – I was bright enough to realise I wouldn’t be given a promotion anytime soon.

ACP career? Over.”

Chan was appointed Bauer Media CEO earlier this month, presumably after Go’s book had already been submitted with publisher Ventura.

Break-Through-Marina-Go-coverGo told Mumbrella the comments about Nick Chan “are in keeping with the spirit of the book, which is to demonstrate yo young aspiring career women, in a manner that engages and entertains them, that every great career has highs and lows”.

“I had a great working relationship with Nick Chan more than 20 years ago when we worked together and there hasn’t been a single moment of animosity since. He will be a welcome leader for Bauer Media,” she said.

Chan declined to comment, noting he had not read the book.

Go’s book details another exchange with Chan over a potential Dolly cover .

Go writes:

“Nick was clearly a very bright businessman and had great suggestions for increasing the profitability of Dolly. However, I honestly believed he had no feel for covers at all. On one occasion when I took him a cover, his reaction even surprised me – and by this stage I’d been editor for about three years and seen it all!

“She doesn’t turn me on,” he said dismissively.

“Nick,” I said, trying not to patronise, “you’re a 30-year-old man. She’s not supposed to turn you on. She’s supposed to turn on young women.”

“Your readers are not lesbians, Marina,” Nick said, like the schoolyard brat he pretended to be sometimes.

“That’s not what I meant Nick. My readers need to have a reaction to her in that they want to be her. That’s what I mean,” I argued.

“Nuh, don’t like it, get another one,” he said and ushered me out of his office.

I really liked Nick but there were times when I wanted to clobber him. Still, he was my boss and if he wanted me to find an alternate cover, that’s what I would do.”

The book, which is broken into chapters providing leadership strategies and advice and memoir-based chapters, also details Go’s first introduction to media mogul Kerry Packer when she was first editing Dolly.


Wilkinson introduced Go to Kerry Packer

She writes:

“A couple of weeks into the job, the batphone rang and it was Lisa [Wilkinson], who was also editor of the hugely successful Cleo magazine, asking me to go around to her office, which was on the other side of the fourth floor – the nicer, brighter side, with large windows overlooking Park Street. Her assistant ushered me straight in and I got my first in the flesh sighting of Kerry Packer.

“I’d like you to meet Kerry Packer,” Lisa said.

“Who the hell are you?” Packer thundered at me.

Unable to speak, I looked at Lisa and she was smiling.

“Marina’s the new editor of Dolly,” she said, completely relaxed in the company of this enormous, frightening man.

“You’re too fucking young to be an editor,” he boomed, staring me down.

Lisa, sensing I wanted to run and hide, said, “It’s alright, you can go.”

Go’s book also reveals that during her early days as editor of Dolly she and Suellen Topfer would swap psychics, adding “there was a time in Dolly’s life when the magazine was virtually run on the advice of psychics.”

In the book she writes:

“Suellen [Topfer, Go’s Dolly deputy editor] and I were complete opposites, which is why we were a great team most of the time, but we shared an obsession with the future. So keen were we to know what our futures would hold, that we often made back-to-back bookings to see psychics. Suellen would introduce me to hers, and I would return the favour.

There was a time in Dolly’s life when the magazine was virtually run on the advice of psychics. Interestingly, that was a very good year for sales.”

‘Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders’ goes on sale on May 1.


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