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The Quotable Michael Ovitz

August 15, 1995

Selected statements over the years from Michael Ovitz:

"This country is poised to set the standards around the world for information and entertainment services.... A mega-industry is coming, but a lot of ideas are just ideas because no one's been able to find critical mass or a marketplace."

--On the Information Age, at a 1994 entertainment industry conference

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"Every time we get involved in consulting for a company ... there are accompanying rumors.... Look at the history of this--it speaks for itself. I'm not running Columbia. I'm not running Universal. I'm not running MGM."

--On speculation about his career, from an April, 1994, New York Times interview

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"We don't have all the answers."

--From a February, 1990, Creative Artists Agency-sponsored conference on global film opportunities

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"This is not a comfortable experience for any of us."

--On giving a rare interview, along with his CAA partners, to the Los Angeles Times in July, 1989

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"Every client has something he wants to do. They all have a passion about it. So our job is to take the clients' passion and to ... extend it into reality."

--On client relationships, in 1989 Times interview

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"[Clients] become the motor, and we really are like the body around the car. We try to shape it with them. But they make the choices. We make suggestions ... but we never make singular suggestions. We suggest alternatives. If there's a director, we suggest an actor."

--On client relationships, in 1989 Times interview

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"When you cut it away, I don't think it's any different from what was created in this country at the turn of the century."

--On the adaptation of Japanese managerial techniques at CAA, in 1989 Times interview

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"You are on a fast-moving train and you'd better hold on for the ride of your life. We're going places you never dreamed of."

--To CAA agents at a 1989 company retreat

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"Ultimately, I'm a businessman bound by a code of ethics."

--Explaining why, as an adviser to Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., he couldn't tip off MCA executives about negotiations to sell the studio to Matsushita.

--From a June, 1995, Vanity Fair interview

--Compiled by DENISE GELLENE

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