As you may have heard, yesterday afternoon, Morgan Stanley held a little good-bye party for John Mack, who will step down as chairman at the end of the year. What are Mack's plans for the retirement phase of his life? Will he sail around the world? Restore old cars? Work on his golf game? Take up fly fishing? Move back down to his native North Carolina? Teach a course on business at his alma mater, Duke University? While those would all be admirable pursuits, it's not likely Mack will have the time for them. Because John Mack, you see, has his sights set on something bigger. The realization of a dream, if you will. The dream of selling women's shoes.
According to someone who attended yesterday's gathering, Mack "talked about how if he hadn't been a banker, he would have wanted to be a women's shoe salesman. He said he loves watching the fierce New York ladies trying on Manolo Blahniks at Bergdorf Goodman--and recommends that all men go there and just sit and watch-- because ladies will just walk up to you and ask you for your opinion." In fact: "Once he told a woman, 'Those are the ones. Get them.' And the manager came up to him and said 'Can you come here every day??'" Apparently Mack told people that his retirement is going to include being "a part-time salesman in the women's shoe department at Berdorf's." While it's unclear if he's officially applied for the job yet, it goes without saying we support this wholeheartedly. Sure, there'll be some tough days when he wonders why he got into all this (particularly when a certain Treasury Secretary looking to settle a score shows up in drag and after making Mack run back and forth fetching twenty different pairs of shoes in three different sizes, declares "You know what? I think I'm going to buy these on Zappos- don't want to pay the NYC sales tax"), but it'll be worth it.