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This has been quite a week for CEO mistakes.
First came the hubbub about Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo, inflating his resume to include a computer science degree he did not actually receive. According to Mr. Thompson someone at a recruiting firm added that degree claim in 2005, he didn’t know it and he’s never read his bio since. A simple oversight, if you can believe he hasn’t once read his bio in 7 years, and he didn’t think it was ever important to correct someone who introduced him or mentioned it.
OOPS – the easy answer for someone making several million dollars per year, and trying to guide a very troubled company from the brink of failure. Hopefully he is more persistent about checking company facts.
“A billion here, a billion there”
But luckily for Mr. Thompson his errors were trumped on Thursday whenJamie Dimon, CEO of J.P.MorganChase notified the world that the bank’s hedging operation messed up and lost $2B!!
OOPS! According to Mr. Dimon this is really no big deal. Which reminded me of the apocryphal Senator Everett Dirksen statement “a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon it all adds up to real money!” If he goes to Las Vegas I think Mr. Dimon might be what they call a “Whale.”
Interesting “little” mistake from a guy who paid himself some $50M a few years ago, and benefited greatly from the government TARP program. He said this would be “fodder for pundits.” Does he expect everyone to simply overlook losing $2B? He also said this was “unfortunate timing.” Is there a good time to lose $2B?
But neither of these problems will likely result in the CEOs losing their jobs. As obviously damaging as both mistakes are, which would naturally have caused mere employees to instantly lose their jobs – and potentially be prosecuted – CEOs...