It takes a special kind of... nut-job... to be CEO of a large corporation these days.
- Bank of America chairman and CEO Ken Lewis has to face the wrath of those annoying owners of the company - the shareholders - today at the annual meeting. He may be stripped of the chairman's title in a vote of "no confidence."
They should fire his ass outright. After all, he is the mastermind behind the purchase of Countrywide Mortgage (the king of sub-prime lending) and Merrill-Lynch (aka "Thain's Folly").
BofA stock has lost almost 80 percent of its value in the past year, so there you go. As I have said many times in the past, I would be willing to destroy shareholder value for half of what Ken Lewis makes ($10 million in 2008, $25 million in 2007 and $28 million in 2006).
- Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli is no stranger to shareholder wrath. In 2006, when he was CEO of Home Depot (this was after being told by Jack Welch that he was not up to the job of CEO of General Electric), he showed up at the now infamous annual meeting and basically told shareholders (again, a reminder: shareholders OWN the company) to go f*ck themselves. He refused to answer questions and cut off all discussion. Eventually, he was fired, but got a $210 million pat on the back for running Home Depot into the toilet.
Of course, this is the United States, where no bad deed goes punished. Nardelli is now CEO of the privately held Chrysler and has done a pretty nice job of running it into a telephone pole.
I wouldn't hire either of these two clowns to weed my garden, let alone run a major corporation. Yet, there they are - sucking down taxpayer bailouts while they destroy shareholder value.
It takes a special kind of chutzpah to be CEO of a big, state-run company like BofA or Chrysler. Most of us have a gene that says it's wrong to pay yourself hundreds of millions of dollars while you lay off employees and suck on the taxpayer teat.
Clearly, these guys, and many other captains of industry, could use some gene therapy.