To tweak an old joke, how can you tell when a CEO is lying? A: When their mouth is moving. Or, you can look for certain key phrases, as researchers did in scrutinizing what was said in corporate earnings calls by executives who later had to restate earnings. They found a few patterns:
An analysis of executive pay found that CEOs of the 50 firms that laid off the most workers since the beginning of the economic meltdown earned 42% more than the average pay for an S&P 500 company. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it’s food for thought, especially for those in the bread line.
There are pay freezes and then there is the CEO Paycheck Shrink Ray. CNN lists the CEOs who were the biggest victims of the latter.
Being POTUS makes you age prematurely, and Lady Gaga is stuck in a 360 deal that takes a cut of everything she does. Screw that, I wanna be CEO. The Wall Street Journal has listed the top paid CEOs of the last decade, which is topped by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at $1.84 billion. Steve Jobs comes in fourth with $749 million, and Capital One’s Richard Fairbank is fifth at $569 million. The WSJ also notes that “four of the top 25 CEOs worked at financial companies, two on Wall Street.”
The NYT is reporting that Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and current Republican candidate for governor of California, allegedly shoved an employee who didn’t do a sufficient job of preparing her for an interview with Reuters.
Executives love to justify price increases or staff reductions by hauling out the customer service argument, because then any complaint you make can be framed as self-defeating. (“Don’t you want better service?”) On that note, Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza told travel blogger Christopher Elliott last week that the new carry-on bag fee is really intended to reduce gate delays. Remember to send a thank-you card to Baldanza.
Ed Whitacre, new CEO of General Motors, will receive a $1.7 million salary and $9 million total compensation package. That’s about twice what his predecessor Fritz Henderson received. Don’t cry for Henderson, though–he’s making almost $3,000 per hour consulting for GM for twenty hours a month.
Update your EECB contact lists: Bank of America has named their new CEO. The new man in charge will be Brian T. Moynihan, who has been the president of president of Consumer and Small Business Banking since August. According to BusinessWeek, the board chose Moynihan after an external candidate dropped out of contention.
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis resigned yesterday after becoming a lightning rod for criticism after his controversial takeover of Merril Lynch. Even though BoA has appeared in our Worst Company in America contests each year, it’s kind of sad because his office had a good record of solving our reader’s problems they sent in to the executive office. Too bad that ethos couldn’t have flowed downhill more.
This story combines two immutable laws of nature in a surprising twist: that executives don’t always know what their front-line employees are doing, and that airline employees don’t give a f*ck who you are and will call the police if you annoy them.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is gathering information in order to file fraud charges against some BoA executives over what they knew, and what they hid, when they acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. a year ago. Earlier this week, his office subpoenaed 5 board members to find out “what they knew regarding the mounting losses and bonus payments at Merrill before the deal closed on Jan. 1 and what role they played in deciding whether to disclose that information to shareholders,” according to the Associated Press.