News round-up: February 4

Published: Feb 04, 2011


It's Friday, and you know what that means! Well, no, you probably don't. Nor do I. What I do know, however, is that today's consulting news is probably going to blow your mind. If it doesn't, I would recommend getting your head checked.

First up we inexplicably hear from Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and vocal Tea Party advocate (apparently that isn't a conflict of interest...). Ginni, a longtime aide to conservative politicians on Capitol Hill, has moved to capitalize on her newfound status as a Tea Party icon by breaking ground on her own brand-new consulting firm, Liberty Consulting. Politico reports that Thomas will head the firm, which helps clients with their "governmental affairs efforts" or lobbying. Though simple and unassuming, Liberty Consulting's website unabashedly pays homage to her Tea Party roots, with phrases like "liberty-loving citizens" and nods to "limited government," "free enterprise" and "national security" appearing early and often. The site's "Testimonials" page similarly features a hit parade of praise from conservative politicians and businesspeople. Ginni swears it's about consulting, though. The "Services" page reveals her three main capabilities: management, strategy, and public affairs consulting. Sounds legit, but take it from me, business leaders: if you're looking to hire a strategy consultant, keep in mind that when hiring Liberty Consulting, you are essentially inviting this into your workplace. Woof.

In legitimate consulting news, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) announced earlier this week that it had struck a deal with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to service the government division's IT infrastructure. Yep, you read right—the integrity of the country's entire food and drug supply is now in the hands of a firm that Vault-surveyed consultants called "flaky" and "disingenuous"! But fear not: Vault-surveyed consultants also called CSC "professional and respectable", so I wouldn't worry about it. That said, next time you bite into a week-old beef Wellington, remember to thank the consultants at CSC for facilitating the message that Joe at the FDA sent warning everyone away from the tainted eggs Benedict and onto the beef Wellington. Good man, Joe.

And now, a short run-in: Booz Allen Hamilton announced today that it had finished refinancing the immense $1 billion-plus debt burden currently on its books in DC. The firm, which was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, said that it made the move to lower interest payments. In retail news, the Gap announced earlier this week that Art Peck, a longtime Boston Consulting Group consultant, would take over as president. The Gap has suffered from lackluster sales in the last decade; Peck will be charged with applying his hard-earned strategy and turnaround skills to skinny jeans and super cute blouses.

Happy weekend!

For more information:
Politico: Justice Thomas's wife Virginia Thomas now a lobbyist
CSC Wins Food and Drug Administration Task Order
Booz Allen Hamilton Finalizes Debt Refinancing
Businessweek: Gap's High-Risk Management Shakeup