So it has finally come to this: Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Maybe I should have guessed all along that the sole beneficiary of the current dot-com/telecommunications meltdown would be a purveyor of circular, carbohydrate-laden deep-fried confections. While everybody in the Internet sector is rapidly whirling down the great economic toilet bowl, our friends at Krispy Kreme Doughnut are posting record numbers.
Check this out: The doughnut makers fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled to $4.2 million over the same period one year earlier, helped by a hefty 39 percent increase in revenue to $82 million.
Whats going on here? This is the time we were supposed to be seeing the history-changing effects of the New Economy. Instead, depressed Internet execs are seeking solace in boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, digging deep for any comfort a puffy Boston cream or slightly greasy cruller might offer.
What a sad state of affairs. Its only a matter of time before svelte, well-pumped Net brass start packing on the pounds. It could get frightening — think of how many boxes of doughnuts Yahoo!s soon-to-be-former Chief Executive Tim Koogle could acquire with his $300,000 salary. According to Krispy Kreme officials, that tidy sum would buy 69,930 boxes of glazed spherical tasties. If he were feeling in the mood for some variety, Koogles pay could purchase 62,630 boxes of assorted hollow-centered treats.
Its clear from Krispy Kremes earnings that Koogle and others have already commenced the Big Doughnut Pig-Out of 2001. Several weeks ago I spotted WorldCom CEO and former megamerger maniac Bernie Ebbers buying a dozen double-chocolate doughnuts at the Krispy Kreme in Clinton, Miss. He didnt even send a minion to do it, so vital was his task.
I was too respectful to interfere and ask Ebbers a difficult question like, "A share of your stock can barely buy a large pizza. Wouldnt a dozen plain doughnuts be more appropriate?"
Which set me to thinking: What kind of doughnuts do other big-wig Net executives eat in these difficult times? So I made some calls.
Bill Gates: Raspberry, because he likes to squeeze out the filling of each before he fully consumes them.
Toby Lenk, CEO of now-defunct eToys: Doughnut holes, because you can roll them around and play with them.
Jeff Bezos: Sprinkled, because you can stack them high and make them look more impressive than they really are.