Friends Faceoff In The Boardrom..Troy Fired
April 1, 2004
Amy returned from the boardroom, where Katrina had been fired. But unlike in the past, there was no excited welcome committee. The mood of the suite had changed. People were now cautious and worn out. In fact, Amy's return roused both Troy and Bill from their beds. Amy recounted her experience in the boardroom and talked about how Trump said that Amy's track record was quite impressive and that he really had no choice but to fire Katrina. The guys listened politely, but in an interview, Bill said that, "Amy has gotten a God complex." Amy went on to repeat that she had, "tooted Bill's horn" in the boardroom, when she had said that Bill was her toughest competition. Although silent, Nick seemed hurt by this comment. In an interview, he said that he didn't know why Amy had said that to Trump, even if she believed it.
The next day, everyone met Donald at Trump World Tower in the 90th floor Penthouse - a spectacular space with the highest ceilings and biggest windows in Manhattan. It boasted breathtaking views of the East River, the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. Donald said that there's luxury and then there's "Trump Luxury." Donald went on to say that the penthouse is leased out occasionally for special events. The task for the teams would be to lease the penthouse for an evening. The team that leased the space for the most money would win a trip to Donald's luxurious club, Mar-a-lago, on his 25-acre Florida estate -- and be flown there aboard Trump's private jet. Donald said that the trip would make an especially romantic get-away for Nick and Amy, who laughed. Nick did a good job of playing along while not admitting anything specific about his relationship with Amy. Finally, Trump said that for this task, Carolyn and Bernie would observe.
Troy was chosen to be Project Manager of Protégé. In an interview, Troy talked about why he's always so driven to lead his team. He said that he knows his lack of formal education hurts him, so he has to make a strong impression on every task. Troy said, "I don't want to get so far and not make it all the way. That would crush me."
Both teams hustled down to the lobby and started making phone calls. Protégé wanted to get some background on the penthouse, so they met with the director of Trump World Tower and learned that the space had recently leased at the $40,000 level. Versacorp, now just Nick and Amy, started showing the space to people, but there was a definite clash of styles. While Amy thought it was best to let the space speak for itself, Nick was full of suggestions about where to put couches, food and music. In an interview, Amy said that they were dealing with professional event planners and she thought that offering too many suggestions would actually stifle their vision of the space. Amy brought up the issue with Nick, but he told Amy to trust him - his way was the right way.
Protégé formed a specific sales strategy; Bill would show the space and get people excited about it - then Troy would close the deal for as much as possible. Troy's tactics bothered Bill at times, especially when Troy told a potential lessee that the team had two other offers on the table when they actually had none. But the approach seemed to pay off when Troy got one couple willing to pay $32,500 for the space. Just as the couple was literally about to sign the lease, Kwame popped his head into the room and pulled Troy away. He told Troy that Bill had another couple ready to lease the place too. So, Troy left the first couple and ran upstairs to try to get an even higher price out of the second couple. Troy pushed the second couple to agree to $38,500, but they felt that they were being hustled and pulled out. Troy thanked them and then ran back down to the first couple, who were still there with Kwame. The team got a final price of $35,001.
Amy and Nick were not entertaining any reasonable offers. They did have one person, Ian, interested but he wanted to host a New Year's Eve party and the lease for the penthouse said that the tenant had to be out of the space by midnight. With just fifteen minutes to go, Nick and Amy still had no signed lease. They were about to give up when Ian walked back in. Nick greeted him and negotiated a price. In the last moments, they were saved and leased the penthouse.
Later, everyone met in the boardroom. Donald ribbed Nick and Amy again and asked Nick if the penthouse was the kind of place that he and Amy would live in when they got married. Everyone laughed and that lightened the serious mood a bit. Soon, Donald got back to business and asked his associates for the numbers. Bernie said that Protégé had leased the penthouse for $35,001, a number the team was proud of. Carolyn said that Versacorp had topped that with $40,800. Protégé was stunned. Nick and Amy were going on the trip while Bill, Troy and Kwame would return to the boardroom.
Nick and Amy boarded Trump's private jet, complete with elegant couches, wood paneling and even beds. Amy said, "It was much more than I ever imagined." And Nick said simply, "This is amazing." The surprises weren't over. Moments later, Amy's sister and Nick's dad boarded the jet! When Amy saw her sister she screamed at the top of her lungs. Nick's dad picked up where Trump had left off - digging into the details of Nick and Amy's relationship. Nick's dad announced that Nick had, "...been through a number of women." Nick protested and said, "I'm one hundred percent single." - to which Nick's dad responded, "What about the one on the West Coast?" Amy did not look happy. When the group arrived at Mar-a-lago, they were blown away by the opulent 90,000 square foot property with its 18th century tapestries, European antiques and stunning chandeliers. The outside was equally breathtaking with its incredible pools and oceanfront view. Nick and Amy sipped mimosas and ate caviar with their family members. Nick said, "This is the best prize." And Amy added, "This is the highlight of my experience here."
Back at Trump Tower, the mood was anything but celebratory. It was boardroom day and the guys were really down. Bill said that the place had a "funeral-like atmosphere." That night, they knew they had just one last dinner together, so they decided to eat like kings and had a decadent meal. The next day, they gave eachother handshakes and hugs as they entered the boardroom. Carolyn asked what minimum price they had set for the lease. Kwame said $35,000 to $40,000 - to which Donald responded, "That was stupid." He said that even if they had gotten their maximum price, they still would have lost. Next, Trump asked some hard questions. He asked Kwame who, between Bill and Troy, he would rather have at his side. Without hesitation, Kwame said Troy, which threw Bill a little. But both Bill and Kwame had some reservations about Troy. Neither would hire Troy as their Chief Financial Officer. Trump then turned to the subject of education. Bill had a degree from a school that Trump respected, Kwame had an MBA from Harvard and Troy had only a high school diploma. Troy added that he learned a lot from Trump's first book, "The Art of the Deal," but that didn't seem to do too much for Donald. It was time for Troy to choose. He decided to face the firing with Kwame, a move that really surprised Trump. Troy said that business is business and friends are friends. So, Bill went up to the suite and Troy and Kwame waited outside.
Donald asked his two advisors for their opinions. Carolyn wondered if Kwame had enough real business experience to compliment his strong education. Bernie said that, while Troy has good instincts, he's just too much of a loose cannon and he needs time and experience to mellow. Donald called Troy an Kwame back in. As soon as they entered, Donald told Kwame, "Your friend screwed you." Kwame said no, he didn't, and that business was business. Trump asked Troy why he picked Kwame. Troy said that, while Kwame had been a "Steady Eddie," he never really shined. Trump agreed, saying that despite Kwame being a Project Manager three times, he never really got out there and led. Finally, Trump said, "This is the toughest choice I've had to make." He explained the reality that the person who ultimately becomes his apprentice may deal with multibillion-dollar businesses and Troy just isn't ready for that. So, Donald fired Troy.