The facts of the case are clear: at the end of 2012 Luke Preece was replaced as Head of Franchise by an Indonesian by the name of Pak Hery. The delicious irony of the situation had not been lost on the authors of this blog. The man who back stabbed so many other expat managers, replacing them with compliant, low-cost, local stand-ins, has now been replaced by a local himself. Oh dear.
But there are other questions raised by this demotion. The first one is a bit of a no-brainer but it is worth looking at in detail. Not everyone knows the character and motivations of Luke Preece as well as we do, so we will go through it step by step. That question is: Did Luke jump or was he pushed? From everything we know about this man, there was no doubt in our minds he was pushed.
Did Luke Jump or Was He Pushed?
Even before we knew Luke was evil, we knew he was ambitious and power-hungry. The two qualities often go together but they are certainly not the same thing. There are many highly ambitious achievers who have an inner moral compass. Luke does not, but that was a discovery from November 2011. It was not always obvious to us.
As long as we have known him, Preece has been highly focussed on amassing more and more power for himself. He wasn’t happy to have become Business Development Manager over Group Schools. Within six months in this role, he started collecting information on Retty Setiawan, the former Head of Franchise. He then used this information to paint a very dark picture of her and the whole TBI Franchise System. We have already leaked the 4-page report which he wrote to Mariam and Ning at the end of 2010 lobbying them to fire Retty and appoint him as Head of Franchise. We took over this role at the start of 2011.
Does it make any sense at all that a man who devoted months and months of lobbying and politicking to gaining control of Franchise in 2010 would have voluntarily relinquished it? Preece’s impulse was always to amass more and more power and to stack stooges into the roles which he didn’t occupy wherever possible. He has a power complex of some kind and is always greedy for more power and influence. He used to freely admit that his dream was to be TBI Director and see Mariam, ‘that fat lazy cow’, ousted. As Cam pointed out to me, at the end of 2011 he was busy trying to get Monica fired as Head of Academics. Controlling Group Schools and Franchise wasn’t enough for him; he wanted the Academics position too. In short, everything he ever did indicates he was obsessed with gaining power. There is no way he would voluntarily have given up control of 11 Franchise schools unless he was forced. I asked Cam for his comments on this point and he reached the same conclusion as me. Here is what he said:
Luke Preece was pushed. There’s no way he would give up one inch of power unless he was forced to. It used to infuriate him that his role as Head of Franchise was never made 100% official. Mariam used to taunt him by saying that Luke was ‘acting in the role as Head of Franchise’ for a year or two. She sometimes said that he was ‘helping out in the role’, which also made him really mad. He wanted that position like nothing else and wouldn’t have given it up for anything. And what’s this garbage about him being promoted to the Board of Directors? Just another Luke lie. How often does the Board of Directors meet anyway? Once a year. He used to laugh that this was where they sent well-connected losers. Even if it’s true that he is on it as a bule, which I highly doubt, it is a mere face-saving stunt. He wants to run those schools so he can play his sick little power-games. This is a massive slap in the face to him.
This leads us to the second question, to which the answers are not quite as obvious. Who pushed Luke? Was it Mariam? We think not. We will explore who pushed Luke out of Franchise in Part 2 of this analysis tomorrow.