Citigroup – Caring Sharing Bankers Strike Again
Last week Citi’s CEO Vikram Pandit “resigned”. According to the New York Times the manner of his departure was brutal in the extreme. Chairman Michael O’Neill gave him three options: go now, go at the end of the year or be fired without cause. Pandit took the loaded Luger there and then. Citi’s Chief Operating Officer followed him out of the door in close order.
O’Neill had, apparently, been plotting the CEO’s removal since he became Chairman in April. According to the London Times, the motive behind the coup was, you guessed it, those hallowed long-term concerns: profit and share price.
Good to see that the corporate values of US banking pre-crisis are alive and well. Short-term thinking, greed, ambition and a total absence of humanity. Not so good for Citibank is that the manner of Pandit’s dismissal has shocked many of the company’s senior executives, and rumours that a number of them are currently burnishing their CVs, as I would in their shoes.
I have no idea how effective Pandit was as a CEO, but I do remember that he played a major part in keeping the show on the road in 2008. Whatever his perceived shortcomings, no organisation that puts employees down like lame dogs deserves any sympathy if it loses its best people and goes into a death spiral.
Perhaps Mr O’Neill should have taken some advice from Mr Pandit on what karma is all about.