Now Burke’s hearing it from business professors


If Brian Burke were managing a company, not a hockey team, his job would be in jeopardy, say a pair of business professors that spoke to the Toronto Star.

“I’d say he’s on the cusp,” said Glenn Rowe, director of the executive MBA program at Western University. “My sense is that in most businesses, when you’re at the CEO or COO level, you get about three or four years to prove your worth.”

Added Ken Wong, a business professor at Queen’s University: “We would certainly not tolerate what we’re seeing from Burke in the business world. He would certainly be asked a lot more questions in a much more adversarial way than the media has asked him. In financial circles, they’d be on him like a flock of buzzards.”

Burke was hired on Nov. 29, 2008, and the Leafs have yet to make the playoffs on his watch. And while the team still makes money, it’s leaving a fortune on the table by repeatedly missing out on playoff revenue. If the business were publicly traded, its share price would’ve tumbled since the Leafs crashed out of a playoff spot.

That Wong says the media is going easy on Burke compared to how the business world would react is also interesting. For all the attention the Leafs get in Toronto, the media’s mostly given Burke the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he’s doing. But clearly that’s starting to change.