This morning’s WSJ report that Robert Benmosche, recently appointed CEO of AIG, is unhappy with government pay restrictions, has elicited predictable, less than sympathetic responses. “Tiny Violins” is the headline from the Daily Beast. New York Magazine’s Daily Intel responded with sarcasm:
Apparently, someone told Robert Benmosche that running the world’s largest and most [expletive withheld] insurer was going to be a cakewalk, because three months into the job and two months after returning from a vacation at his Croatian villa, the CEO is considering throwing in the towel, owing to the restrictions placed on him by the company’s new owners, the good old United States government.
… But wait: Didn’t he know that when he took the job? We’d assumed he was like the David Blaine of CEOs; you know, that he liked putting himself into impossible situations and getting out against all odds, but apparently, Benmosche was on a media blackout for 2008-2009 and had no idea what he was getting into. What did the board tell him, we wonder? That he was being hired to run an insurance company?
Clusterstock goes with outrage:
Robert Benmosche should not be given the opportunity to step down as the chief executive of AIG. He should be fired immediately.
The scope and scale of the arrogance of Benmosche is almost stunning. Except that we’ve become so accustomed to financial big shots acting like they were divinely anointed that we hardly notice.
If this kind of PR ploy actually works with Ken Feinberg, well …; more likely, it will just continue to backfire. In any event, the parlor game of predicting Benmosche’s successor has begun.
Feinberg’s letter to AIG can be found HERE.
UPDATE: In response to the uproar (e.g. “AIG’s Benmosche is a drama queen”) created by the WSJ story, Benmosche has sent a letter to AIG employees saying he’s “totally committed” to the job.