10.) He was prompt
9.) He admitted fault
8.) He called his actions 'creepy'
7.) He made the announcement on national TV
6.) He apologized
5.) He used comedy, a powerful weapon, in an appropriate way
4.) He made clear he hadn't violated the workplace policies of either CBS or his own company
3.) He made clear that the timing of the workplace liaison predated his becoming married
2.) He was genuine in his remarks, and, drum roll please…………….
1.) He used the right platform at the right time and in the right way to convey the message
Too many CEOs balk at disclosing negative information. Or, they bumble their way through stiff, obviously rehearsed remarks. Or, they stop short of admitting fault and assuming responsibility. Or, they'll have a PR spokesperson handle the media on their behalf. Or, they'll let the lawyers control the message which ends up sounding like pure gibberish. Or, they'll bury their heads in the sand and hope to ride out the storm.
The Letterman story may have additional chapters before it ends. But, in my book, the man handled the image and reputation elements of the communications as well as I've ever seen.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, here's Paul Schaefer and the 'Late Night' Band playing, 'I'm a Man,' by Chicago.