With yesterday's announcement that Dan Sontag will be stepping down as head of the Merrill broker brigade because he no longer had his "whole heart" in the game, Ken Lewis may have officially killed the firm's culture. The 31 years at ML was not enough for the BAC overlords to reconsider giving Sontag a new boss in the form of Sallie Krawcheck. Once unthinkable, one of the truly distinctive cultures on Wall Street may have been completely wiped out by a bank based in North Carolina. If Ken Lewis was worried about broker defections before yesterday, he should be petrified now.
The Art Of The Farewell
Not everyone gets to write a New York Times Op-Ed when they quit their job, however disaffected. It’s also easier to quit a job after twelve years of cashing investment banking paychecks. No matter how “morally bankrupt” Goldman Sachs is, Greg Smith isn’t giving his bonuses back. Unlike Smith, who quit his job on his own terms and got to publish most of his resume in the Times, most of corporate America isn’t as lucky – and almost everyone in corporate America really wants to quit their job. So what are you supposed to do if you can’t get any above-the-fold space in a major newspaper? You have to burn bridges the old fashioned way – by writing a farewell email.