EDM CEO’s Bird-Flipping, Junk-Grabbing Photos Lead Analyst To Question His Sanity

The CEO of SFX Entertainment, which went public in October, was caught on camera earlier this week leaving a plane flicking off photographers and grabbing his private parts. An analyst questioned his sanity on a conference call yesterday.

Watch the CEO of SFX Entertainment flip the bird and grab his private parts.

SFX Entertainment, the newly public company that produces electronic music festivals like Tomorrowland and Electric Zoo, had one of the most awkward earnings calls in history on Thursday.

A big point of contention: the above video, and related images, which feature SFX founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert Sillerman exiting an airplane in Miami earlier this week, throwing up the middle finger to onlookers and grabbing his private parts. The images spread on Twitter and Instagram this week.

Doug Mitchelson, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, had trouble holding back laughter as he asked Sillerman on the call: “And lastly, Bob, I’m not even sort of sure how to ask this question… we understand that you’re something of a nontraditional CEO, but any comment you want to make on the gestures you were making? Was that to a specific person or to everybody as you came out of the plane yesterday? We’re just trying to make sure that you’re still sane.”

Sillerman, who’s in his mid-sixties, responded: “Um, well — thank you for referring to me as a nontraditional CEO. That was a result of an internal, the culmination of an internal conversation and joke within the company, and while I certainly wasn’t crazy about the fact that it was tweeted out, it’s had a very interesting reaction from the uh, music community down here, [which] has fundamentally said, “Fuck yeah, we get it.”

He continued: “But no, I was not trying to imitate Michael Jackson or Stephen Colbert talking to somebody about how much better the hot dogs were in New York. That was an internal thing. It’s fairly indicative, I think, of the way internally that we enjoy ourselves, and we’re willing to push the envelope, I guess is the best way to say it.”

Mitchelson thanked Sillerman, who answered: “Now Doug, you weren’t concerned it was aimed at you, were you?”

Mitchelson chuckled and said, “It seemed more general than that.” Sillerman responded, “Yeah.”

TheStreet noted that there were other uncomfortable moments throughout the profanity-filled call, including an accusation from one analyst that the company was trying to brush over “shitty deals” through accounting adjustments.

SFX, which went public in October at $13 a share, fell 12% yesterday and another 1% today to around $6.75. The company posted sales of $170.5 million for 2013 and a net loss of $111.9 million.

Sillerman, who was in Miami for the Ultra music festival, initially made his fortune by buying and selling radio stations, then spent the ’90s combining regional concert promoters into the precursor of what is now Live Nation. He established SFX as an electronic dance music company in July 2011, seeing a compelling opportunity in the culture around the genre.

“It’s fairly indicative, I think, of the way internally that we enjoy ourselves, and we’re willing to push the envelope, I guess is the best way to say it,” the CEO said on an earnings call yesterday.


— VLADI CAL (@edonmachiavelli)

Check out more articles on!

Sapna Maheshwari is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Maheshwari reports on retail and e-commerce.
Contact Sapna Maheshwari at
Here Are The Top Stories
  • More debris – believed to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 – has been found washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion on Sunday.
  • A conservation group at Oxford University told BuzzFeed News that media reports of Jericho's death were not true and that the 11-year-old lion was "alive and well".
  • A Memphis police officer was shot dead on Saturday night while conducting a routine traffic stop, according to a statement from the Memphis Police Department.
Get The News App

More News

More News

Now Buzzing