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Corporate Spying with Robert Kerbeck

Corporate Spying with Robert Kerbeck

Update: 2022-06-15


Corporate spies are regularly hired by competitors to help poach employees with the best ideas. Listen on to know if it is happening at your company and how to prevent it. Robert Kerbeck is the founder of Malibu Writers Circle and his essays have been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times Magazine with one story adapted in the award winning film Reconnected. His newest memoir Ruse: Lying the American Dream From Hollywood to Wall Street is a look at the world of corporate espionage and his career as a corporate spy. 

Show Notes:

  • [1:08 ] - Robert never thought he would become an infamous corporate spy. He shares his background and what led him there.
  • [3:42 ] - He was hired and realized it was not the ordinary marketing job he thought it would be.
  • [4:46 ] - The job was determined to be in a “gray area” legally.
  • [6:00 ] - A lot of Robert’s job was over the phone trying to get information out of employees.
  • [7:04 ] - Eventually, Robert would imitate major executives over the phone.
  • [8:48 ] - A lot of the information gathered at the time was employment information.
  • [10:07 ] - Some employees are not listed as team members to avoid being poached.
  • [11:11 ] - Although so much data is available publicly online now, there are still pieces of valuable information that corporate spies can use.
  • [12:49 ] - Corporate plans are valuable to competitors.
  • [13:58 ] - In Robert’s case, blackmail wasn’t utilized, but rather poaching talent.
  • [15:54 ] - Robert describes some of the information that he was gathering. He viewed himself as an actor.
  • [17:38 ] - Sometimes the more outlandish something seems, in a strange way, it becomes more believable.
  • [19:24 ] - In order to target the right person and use the right strategies, Robert had to do a lot of research on the companies he was contacting.
  • [20:53 ] - There are certain areas in a firm where people aren’t following company protocol.
  • [22:17 ] - In the corporate world, there are qualities that create a toxic culture.
  • [24:53 ] - There should be training in place to ensure that employees do not reveal information if they do not know the person.
  • [26:18 ] - Once someone has access to an organizational chart, not only employee names are available.
  • [29:02 ] - The more time spent trying to break a company for the information desired, a corporate spy is gathering small pieces of data.
  • [31:23 ] - There are scams that are designed to target people who have previously been a victim of a scam.
  • [32:04 ] - Robert explains that he never used these skills in his personal life.
  • [33:12 ] - In 2008, jobs were harder to find and Robert left his career as a corporate spy.
  • [35:41 ] - Robert describes his experience in Corporate America.
  • [37:27 ] - Through his experiences, Robert says it was very nerve wracking to attend corporate events as somebody else.
  • [38:46 ] - Find Robert’s new book on his website.

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Corporate Spying with Robert Kerbeck

Corporate Spying with Robert Kerbeck

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