Sallie Mae CEO Ends Conference Call With "Let's Get The Fuck Out Of Here"

Dodging tough questions about the student loan company’s fiscal well-being and strategy in the midst of the credit crunch, not to mention his recent sale of 97% of his company stock, Sallie Mae’s CEO ended a conference call yesterday with investors by cursing, reports WSJ:

In an apparent reference to investors’ anger, he said: “I can assure you, you will be going through a metal detector.” He ended the conference call by saying “Let’s go. There’s no questions. Let’s get the [expletive] out of here.”

Sallie Mae spokesman Tom Joyce called the metal-detector remark “an attempt at humor” and the expletive “an unfortunate slip of the tongue.” Mr. Joyce said the call had been intended for Mr. Lord, in his new role, to give investors a “broad overview” of the company’s situation.

Afterwards, shares of Sallie Mae fell 21%.

Sallie Mae: Expletive Included [WSJ]
Full Conference Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha]
(Photo: Susan Biddle)

Comments

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  1. Falconfire says:

    hey if they go out of business does that mean I dont have to pay back my load?

    Yes I realize this is wishful thinking lol.

  2. HRHKingFriday says:

    @Falconfire: LOL, yes, probably to an even more unsavory private capital company that’ll purchase all their loans.

  3. homerjay says:

    Welp, apparently he’s human.

  4. Justinh6 says:

    Absolutely the worst company in the universe to deal with.

    I just refinanced all my loans away from them, and its the smartest move I have ever made.

    They are terrible, and the devil all in one.

  5. shan6 says:

    Their shares fell 21% because the CEO uses words like “fuck”?

  6. royal72 says:

    run fucker, run. take your winning lotto ticket you raped and pillaged for and fucking run!

  7. nealb says:

    @shan6: The shares fell because he implied coming misfortune for the company.

  8. kamikazee05 says:

    I’ve used their Tuition Pay plans and had a great experience… does this mean I shouldn’t use them next semester?

  9. kootenayredneck says:

    I like CEO’s like that. At least he had the balls to say it, even if it was a slip of he tongue.

    Not like most CEO’s that stab their own people in the back and then say it’s good for a company.

  10. flackman says:

    He’s still gambling with that last 3%!

  11. Skiffer says:

    @flackman: He meant to sell that last 3%, but those are the shares that got lost in the couch cushions…

  12. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @shan6: Their shares fell 21% because the CEO is stupid enough to use words like “fuck” during an investors’ conference call.

    I mean, come on, that’s pretty fucking stupid.

  13. Crushmeguy says:

    I can’t read the article because I’m not a WSJ subscriber, but there is nothing in the quote that implies he used the word “fuck” and not “hell”. And who knows what the interviewer considers an expletive…they may have an agenda.

    Just saying.

  14. darkened says:

    That actually makes me think this guy is more of a man of action instead of business double speak. ++ if he follows through with actions.

  15. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Crushmeguy: Interesting point. Anyone know if WSJ editorial policy will allow use of “hell” (in the expletive sense) without censoring?

  16. forever_knight says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: yes. have we really come to censoring the word “hell”??

  17. Skiffer says:

    @Crushmeguy: There’s a couple other sites that include the full phrase with the f-word in it, for example:

    [seekingalpha.com]

  18. Myron says:

    WSJ does publish “hell”.

    The transcript of the call is as follows:

    “How (inaudible) is this? Steve, lets go. Theres no questions, lets get the (expletive) out of here.”

    I found one article that fills in these words, but it’s not clear how the writer would know. I think you would have to be in on the call.

    [www.theglobeandmail.com]

    The audio of the transcript is up on the Sallie Mae website but the line in question is mysteriously absent.
    [phx.corporate-ir.net]

  19. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @forever_knight: It’s not “have we come to this,” it’s more like “have we moved past it yet.” Older standards would’ve censored “hell” and “damn,” and the WSJ is pretty conservative.

  20. Ben Popken says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Actually you can read the article, this link is set up to be free.

  21. forever_knight says:

    @Myron: i think transcripts should be required by law to say EXACTLY what was said, not edited for our protection.

    this applies to the white house also. a lot of random speeches are nicely edited for our protection.

  22. kimsama says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Agreed. You don’t get people to invest in your company by being an inflammatory ass. It’s likely they’ll generalize the CEO’s arrogant and inappropriate behavior to mean that the whole company is being as poorly run as the conference call was (which, hey, it is!).

  23. JustAGuy2 says:

    @forever_knight:

    The transcripts are services provided by a private company. Investment banks and the like pay a subscription fee to get them. There’s no regulatory issue here – if the paying customers want swear words, they’ll get swear words.

  24. Skiffer says:

    @kimsama: The drop was not because of his choice of words – it’s because:

    “[Sallie Mae] could not present earnings outlooks on a GAAP basis, citing the inability to forecast the effect of certain items.”

    They’re being hit by the credit crunch, and have no idea what their assets will be worth in the coming months – hence, investor panic.

  25. Bladefist says:

    This is stupid and it must be a slow news day. If you’ve worked hard enough, or screwed enough people to make it to CEO, you can say whatever the f- you want. It’s a word people. A word. And if I was getting ready to lose my ass I would be saying that particular word often.

  26. clevershark says:

    @Bladefist: fucking right! I’ve nothing against CEOs using the f-word, as long as they’re not just (expletive)ing their investors and customers over.

  27. fearuncertaintydoubt says:

    I wonder if this is an indication of the stress he is under. I wouldn’t want to be CEO of a mortgage institution right now.

  28. clevershark says:

    @fearuncertaintydoubt:

    Why not? You can utterly fail, lose billions of other people’s money, and still walk away with a $150+ million golden parachute.

  29. JustAGuy2 says:

    @fearuncertaintydoubt:

    If he were the CEO of a mortgage institution. Sallie Mae does student loans.

  30. Sachlichkeit says:

    I’m fairly certain shares fell because the CEO sold 97% of his stock in the company he runs

  31. Buran says:

    @Bladefist: Then start your own blog and don’t post this story.

    I think it’s relevant — tells us what big companies really think of us “consumers” (that word itself is disrespectful… we’re customers). They think we’re nothing more than walking, talking wallets that are there for them to take from as they see fit. They have no respect for those who keep them in business.

  32. forever_knight says:

    @JustAGuy2: i realize i may be alone here. BUT that anything edited (even if it removes expletives) is not an actual transcript. it is “something”, it could possibly even be considered an editorial since it expresses the interest of the organization and not the word-for-word actual detail of what was said.

    sanitized for your protection. no thanks.

  33. SBR249 says:

    Here’s the “broad overview of the company’s situation:”

    they are all [expletive]-ed

  34. JustAGuy2 says:

    @forever_knight:

    Again, the companies doing the conference calls doesn’t produce those transcripts. They’re not legal transcripts either. They’re produced by private companies who listen to the conference call and then type it up, for the benefit of subscribers, so the subscribers don’t actually have to listen to the call, or who want to be able to go back to what was said without listening to a recording.

    You’re totally free not to subscribe to a transcript service, and that’s your call. For most investors, though, they’re invaluable, and the issue of whether the CEO said fuck or hell is much less important than what he said about securitization, or refinancing, or raising equity, etc.

  35. forever_knight says:

    @JustAGuy2: huh? i understood what you were saying in your first post.

    i’m saying it’s bullshit to call it a “transcript” or “transcript service” when someone gets to decide what naughty words are acceptable to print. are we 5 years old where our ears will melt if we read it? transcripts are word for word what was said.

    and yes, thanks for pointing out that i don’t have to subscribe to the sanitized speech to text service. where would i be without that valuable nugget.

    i think the fact that this guy, CEO of Sallie Mae, said fuck is important to investors. it shows he doesn’t care. expletive deleted just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  36. @Bladefist: Why do you hate humor? WHY?

    *introduces comment to the mallet*

  37. Bladefist says:

    @Buran:
    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    I didn’t realize that there was only one side you were able to comment on, and on the other side, you have to start your own blog. I found the article interesting, and fun, but I had an opinion of not thinking what he did should be a big deal. EXCUSE ME. I’ll get back on the Apple Loving, Bush Hating, Corporation hating beat path that you are all stuck on.

    I don’t really have any experience with Sallie Mae Minus the fact Sallie Mae has my students loans, gives me an amazing rate, and has been very flexible for me, gives me more discounts on my rate for paying on time, and has exceeded all my of expectations.

  38. healthdog says:

    Anyone reminded of the end of Enron? Jeff Skilling answered a similar question/comment by saying, “Uh, well…thank you very much for that…asshole.”

    It’s not about the word. It’s about a highly placed professional losing his cool. He should have been well prepared for the questions he would receive in this environment, and he went defensive and vulgar instead of responding appropriately. Defensive people are usually hiding something much worse than anything they admit to.

    Hilarious once the speaker phone is off, but a really, really bad sign when it is still on.

  39. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: I’ll get back on the Apple Loving, Bush Hating, Corporation hating beat path that you are all stuck on.

    Said like it’s a bad thing?!

    And, see that key to the right of the “0″ one? It’s called the hyphen. It’s an integral part of the English language, vis compound words. Might want to research that…

    PS: Free Republic is probably a better match than a site that, y’know, is about CONSUMERS NOT GETTING RIPPED OFF.

  40. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Bladefist: For the kind of money this guy is making, I would expect him to watch his fucking language.

  41. Bladefist says:

    @trai_dep: If I’ve noticed one thing online, it’s that when people cant actually argue with what your saying, they’ll attack your english.

  42. KJones says:

    Am I the only one who sees another Ken Lay here?

    If you have shares, sell now. Better to lose something than lose everything.

  43. healthdog says:

    Your = posessive; mine, yours

    You’re = contraction of you are; If you can replace “your” in a sentence with “you are” and it makes sense, then you’re a moron. Or possibly 10 years old.

  44. drjayphd says:

    @Bladefist: Psst: it’s “what you’re saying”, “cant”, and “English”. (insert “The More You Know” graphics)

  45. Bladefist says:

    my point exactly. if you agreed with me on my opinions, im sure my spelling errors would go unnoticed. hey look, i said “im” oops

  46. JustAGuy2 says:

    @forever_knight:

    You’re free to have your opinion about how unacceptable you find a product you had no intention of buying anyway. I’m free to note that your opinion is irrelevant.

    The product, again, isn’t a legal transcription service. They usually also edit out uh, um, etc. – it’s designed so that the financial community can read what the call said, not get a syllable-by-syllable depiction of it.

    The people who actually BUY that product don’t care if they put in “expletive” instead of fuck.

    Your criticism is roughly akin to my condemning the manufacturers of city buses because they won’t go 125mph – it’s both irrelevant (because I’m not buying a city bus anytime soon) and fundamentally misunderstands the nature of the product and the requests of the customer base.

  47. asscore says:

    OH MY FUCKING GOD HE SWORE

    seriously, this is news?

  48. magus_melchior says:

    @Bladefist: Okay, since you wanted an argument and not abuse, nor the “12-A argument”…

    You are entitled to your opinion, but you (and for that matter, any of us, including myself) are not entitled to assume that your opinion is better than everyone else’s. Secondly, assuming that everyone else in this comment space loves Apple, hates Bush and everything corporate will not only net you even more foes, but is fallacious.

    Finally, your experience with Sallie Mae is your own. There are horror stories as well as success stories, which is true of just about any company large enough to attract corporate idiots. Just as you can’t always judge a company by the horror stories you hear (although it’s often a sign of something rotten), you can’t assume such stories are exaggerated because they’ve happened to treat you well.

  49. Bladefist says:

    @magus_melchior: I never thought my opinion was worth more then anyone elses. Getting foes online is what I do best, my opinions are usually unfavorable. I agree that my experience with sallie mae isn’t the same as everyone else. I was posting my opinion and was attacked. It happens here, it happens on digg, it’ll continue to happen everywhere. And I’m completely okay with that. I value objectionable people, and I hope other people can learn to also. Sorry for all english errors made in this posting, this isnt 6th grade Comp and reading.

  50. mattbrown says:

    how many times did you want to say that at a meeting, though?

  51. @Bladefist: If you write a post about how Consumerist is stupid or desperate (“slow news day”) to post something when it is clearly meant to be funny I am going to ask why you hate humor.

  52. @asscore: It’s funny news, which is better.