Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Comparing Chris White, Hilbert

April 8, 2008
Reaction to retail developer Chris Whiteâ??s downfall is sounding a lot like when Steve Hilbert was forced out of Conseco Inc. eight years ago.

Hilbert made himself the talk of the town by taking tens of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses out of the Carmel insurance company he co-founded, screaming around in a jet-powered helicopter and spending on largess that included building a replica of IUâ??s basketball court at his home.

White built the giant Metropolis outdoor mall in Plainfield and had plans to develop the sprawling, $750 million Venu project at Keystone at the Crossing.

Though he hadnâ??t become a household name, White, like Hilbert, lived a lavish lifestyle replete with airplanes and hosting big parties.

Both pursued audacious goals and reached too far. Now both often are reviled for their lifestyles and failures and, to some extent, admired for their entrepreneurial spirit.

What do you think?
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