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Blackjack Saved FedEx from Bankruptcy

Mar 29, 2014

fedex-blackjack-250314Smart strategy

An improbably blackjack tale is crucial to how FedEx became one of the world’s most profitable companies.

Blackjack is truly a game of skill, not chance. Those who have the skill can earn money at the world’s most popular casino table game. Just consider the story of FedEx, which is now one of the world’s most profitable companies.

According to statements from FedEx founding executive Roger Frock, CEO Fred Smith helped the company stave off bankruptcy back in 1973. The company’s cash-on-hand was down to $5,000 and it needed $24,000 to make jet refuel payments to keep it afloat for the next several days. According to Frock, Smith, who happened to be a blackjack cards player, took the last $5,000 to Vegas. When confronted about it, Smith replied nonchalantly:

“The meeting with the General Dynamics board was a bust and I knew we needed money for Monday, so I took a plane to Las Vegas and won $27,000.”

An improbably story

Most find it very hard to believe that a Fortune 500 company currently employing 146,000 people was kept alive by Smith’s casino strategy skills. But that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it. The world is a better place for Smith’s groundbreaking business model: overnight delivery to almost anywhere in the world. But if he had chosen to be a professional gambler rather than entrepreneur, he still would have been pretty successful.

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