I started this blog in April – and in April I named my first Lame Leader of the Week. It was Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup.
Pandit received the dubious distinction for his “inability or refusal to read the writing on the wall – to forestall outrage at his out-sized compensation.” As a result of his ineptitude, he was publicly humiliated by his shareholders, who rejected a pay plan that would have awarded him $15 million.
The crisis passed – or seemed to. But half a year later, it became clear that memories are long and that whatever Pandit’s assets, his deficiencies had come to outweigh them. After a further series of missteps, the board was fed up, and so yesterday it fired him. Well, that’s not exactly right. Exactly right is that Pandit tendered to the board his “surprise resignation.”
“Surprise”? Not really. We live in an age in which leaders who fail to cut the mustard are not long for this world – unless, of course, their control is complete..