Blackstone Group had no company-wide holiday party this year, citing an inability to find a proper venue for the more than 1,000 New York employees at the world’s largest alternative investment firm.
But it did make a video.
In a five-minute parody of “The Office” sitcom, Blackstone employees give “private” interviews, getting a chance to express their displeasure over how plans for the annual festivities were bungled.
Shot in mock-documentary style, the video includes appearances from top executives like CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Executive Vice Chairman Tony James, and includes multiple jokes about the firm’s biggest real estate deal, the sale of Hilton Hotels for a $14 billion profit.
The video gives top billing to Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, who jumped into the role of president earlier this year. On screen, he mimics a boisterous boss everyone is fed up with, but also works extra hard to save the holiday party. “This firm is not going to lose its holiday spirit on my watch,” he says, standing in a conference room. It’s a far cry from the man who, in real life, once burst into an employee’s office demanding to know, “Where the fuck is Harry?” when Harry Macklowe missed a closing deadline by 15 minutes, according to Vicky Ward’s 2014 book, “Liar’s Ball.”
“I want the firm to love me,” Gray says in the video, appearing to be private equity’s answer to “The Office’s” Michael Scott, the blundering manager of the middling Scranton branch of paper merchant Dunder-Mifflin. It is precisely the kind of company Blackstone might have had targeted for a takeover, if it was real. [Blackstone] — Will Parker