As a chief executive, he was as comfortable conducting business across a dinner table as from behind a desk. At the restaurant industry’s annual trade gathering in Chicago, he was a big presence, holding meetings in an expansive top-floor hotel suite…
More than a dozen subordinates and peers said they had never seen him do anything inappropriate. They said he went out of his way to get to know his employees and would throw his arm around their shoulders, drop in their offices to chat, take them out to lunch or hang around for cocktails.
One year at the office Christmas party, he sang a duet of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Once, he took a couple of dozen association staff members for a week-long junket in Hawaii.
“One of the things that everybody came to realize was although he was the top person, Herman was very approachable,” said Spencer Wiggins, who ran the human resources department for Cain at Godfather’s and considers him a friend.