WaMu Fires CEO

Washington Mutual fired CEO Kerry Killinger today.

He was replaced by Alan Fishman, former president and COO of Sovereign Bank. The company has also entered a “memorandum of understanding” with the Office of Thrift Supervision, which is like probation for banks, requiring it to disclose lots of info to regulators throughout the year. Killinger built WaMu into one of the nation’s largest thrift banks, but then got the bank into too much of the sub-prime mortgage business and over-aggressively expanded its retail outlets. His rolling head joins a line of other recently executed banks CEOs, Wachovia’s Ken Thompson, Merrill Lynch’s Stanley O’Neal and Citigroup’s Charles Prince.

How much severance is he getting? WSJ says:

People close to the situation said Mr. Killnger would retire under the terms of his employment contract with no extra severance benefits. According to the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing related to Mr. Killinger’s compensation, he held 1.2 million shares of common stock as of Dec. 31, 2007, currently worth about $5.2 million. He also has $14.9 million in deferred compensation and $3.5 million in pension benefits, according to the filing.

WaMu Placed On Probation As It Ousts CEO Killinger [Dow Jones] (Thanks to Dariush!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. chiieddy says:

    About time.

  2. thatblackgirl says:

    What’s his severance?

    • Jonbo298 says:

      @thatblackgirl: Well, this says

      People close to the situation said Mr. Killnger would retire under the terms of his employment contract with no extra severance benefits.

      So it seems he didn’t get a golden parachute, just his stock and pension and ‘deferred payments’. So, should I be happy he seems to not have gotten a golden parachute in the contract? Seems like it didn’t get one which is awesome.

  3. RStewie says:

    Yeah. What color is the parachute?

  4. sleze69 says:

    Na na nahh nahh…

  5. azntg says:

    Why did it take so long to thank Killinger (for some of the good things he’s actually done) and then send him out the door (for driving the company into the ground in the process)?

    CEO’s have it way too easy. I will NEVER buy into their BS of “being a CEO is hard work” EVER again after all this.

    • nknight says:

      @azntg: It honestly depends on the company and the CEO, and there’s some inherent variance among industries.

      I worked at a Silicon Valley pseudo-startup (already-experienced team, ~100 employees worldwide) where you couldn’t have asked for a harder-working CEO. Ultimately things didn’t work out so well, but it wasn’t for anyone’s lack of trying. The CEO is actually still there trying to make things work; he could’ve gone to cushy executive posts at a number of other companies for far more money than he’s getting now (I’m actually not sure he’s getting _anything_ at the moment, he was actually paying for some stuff out of his own pocket for a while).

      Of course, another company I worked for had a CEO that had come out of the entertainment industry. I’m not entirely sure what he did.

  6. wdgasu says:

    He wasn’t feeling the WooHoo :(

  7. logicalnoise says:

    I use WAMU as my standard bank(no credit cards or loans through them though). I like their services but after cutting back their retail locations I went from 3 convient locations to 1 kind of convient(at non rush hour times) location. anyways hope the bank keeps things running smoothly and fair as my experience has been.

  8. savvy999 says:

    When you have a regulatory agency called the “Office of Thrift Supervision”, nobody is going to take it seriously (!)

    Really, that sounds like a group of little old ladies that collect antique coin purses, not the hammer of the financial sector.

  9. starrion says:

    “WaMu Fires CEO”

    Given their performance, most investors would ask “out of what”?

    Cannon aimed at a brick wall would probably be preferred.

  10. ViperBorg says:

    Good riddance. May I suggest we take his severance check and distribute it among the taxpayers? In the end, it won’t be much, but it sure has hell wont be going in his pocket.

  11. CaptRavis says:

    …and I cashed my $1.00 dividend check only last week.

  12. zentex says:

    Mr. Killnger would retire under the terms of his employment contract with no extra severance benefits.

    heh. seriously.

    “your fired! But instead of shit-canning you…you can ‘retire’ and enjoy the benefits as if you had done a good job!”

    oh how I want one of those jobs.

  13. stang says:

    Fired is Fired… no benefits, no compensation. Good-bye and don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

    If you don’t do your job, you should NOT get your $25 million in compensation, especially when hundreds of thousands of people are loosing their homes over the sub-prime crap. He should be made to pay the mortgages up to date for all the failed mortgages with their bank.

  14. orlo says:

    If we’re going to have a Communist-style banking system, CEOs who fall out of favor need to be disappeared. If we let Cheney keep the severance packages maybe we can persuade him to take on the job instead of going back into oil.

  15. First-National-Dank says:

    Dr. Henry Killinger>>>Kerry Killinger.

  16. krom says:

    You know things are really bad when the CEO doesn’t get a phat goodbye check.

    Tick… tick…

  17. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Nice to know he fucked people over and he still gets over 20 million dollars.

  18. stang says:

    ENRON all over again people….. WAKE UP!!!

  19. squishyalt says:


    Serves him right for the horrid (and illegal) tactics that WaMu has been using lately.

    BTW, if WaMu calls and insists on a pre-dated check over the phone – that’s illegal. And, if WaMu starts calling you 3 – 6 times a day, that’s harassment and also illegal.

    Just give the guys at The Office of Thrift and Supervision a call if WaMu is using any of these illegal tactics on you, a loved one or a friend – hell….even an enemy.

    Seems to tickle the fancy of those at The Office of Thrift and Supervision.

    And tell WaMu that Squishy says “Hi!”.

  20. Aisley says:

    Washington Mutual fired CEO Kerry Killinger today.

    F I N A L L Y ! ! !

    He was replaced by Alan Fishman, former president and COO of Sovereign Bank.


    This is not sounding good. Does anybody knows what shape is the Sovereign bank in? Take a read at these articles. Sovereign has more at stake in Fannie and Freddie that what makes Wall Street comfortable.