Skip to main content

Nobody Wants To Be A CEO

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Of our nation's hell-holes that is, by which we of course mean places like AIG, Citi, Bank of America, Freddie Mac, etc. The Journallooks into the situation today and discovers that while some of these institutions are in need of a new guy or lady up top, nobody capable has come forward and pledged to work 'round the clock to fix the places for an annual salary of $1, a bunch of worthless stock, and the opportunity to have Maxine Waters shout at them in ǃ'OǃKung about a perceived role in late-night field trips with Goldman Sachs to dig up parakeet carcasses and suck out their essence.

Former US Bancorp chief executive Jerry Grundhofer is said to be a possible successor to Vikram Pandit but he's old and not too keen on a) the pay and b) the idea of having Tim Geithner up his grill. Basically, "there is no one" a person "familiar with internal deliberations" about CEO succession at Bank of America and Citi said, though obviously the intel could've come from anyone with a pulse. I mean, there are some guys itching for gigs, but for various reasons their candidacies aren't being taken seriously. You might recognize their names: Bob Steel, David Moffett and John Thain. Supposed reasons they won't work are the matters of misleading comments about the health of Wachovia, "limited experience in running vast businesses," and interior decorating sprees that included Swarovski-encrusted bidets, respectively.
Clearly, though, these places are actively looking for warm bodies and it wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say they're desperate, and in no position to be picky. (Like Hartford Financial which, in a who are they trying to kid move, won't consider even taking a meeting with anyone that was "responsible for the balance sheet at a troubled financial institution in recent years.") BAC/Citi/AIG/etc aren't too good for anyone and would be lucky to land a mammal (even there, we'd suggest some flexibility). It's time to start considering low-hanging fruit.