Richard Fuld, the embattled chief executive of Lehman Brothers, faces an internal coup to oust him from his position, U.K.'s The Observer newspaper reported yesterday. Fuld is decribed as decreasingly involved in the decisions of the bank and to lack credibility in the eyes of other executives.
Whether a Lehman suitor emerges or not, well-placed sources within the bank are certain that Fuld is set to hand over the reins before the end of the year. 'He is involved less and less with day-to-day executive affairs, and his credibility is shot,' one senior Lehman source said.
The source is not identified very well here, so it's a bit hard to know what to make of this story. It certainly goes further than any other media report by suggesting that "well-placed sources" within Lehman are "certain" Fuld will be gone by the end of the year. How do these people have such certainty about the future?
What is certain is that Fuld has an increasingly dissatisfied group of senior executives working beneath him. Recent media stories about the failure to attract foreign capital and private equity firms balking at the price of assets have helped fuel the impression that Fuld may be bungling the firm's future.
The Observer says that Lehman's Chief Operating Officer Bart McDade has assumed many of Fuld's former responsibilities.
The story for The Observer was written by James Doran, a New York based freelance writer who broke some important news about the rebellion at Morgan Stanley that ousted Phil Purcell. His stories have appeared regularly in the British press.
Lehman chief faces internal coup [The Observer]