Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Daily Dick: John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent over $1 million to redecorate his office while his company collapsed and his employees were getting laid off.
Less than one month into his new gig at the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain resigned today after it was revealed that he doled out executive bonuses a month ahead of schedule and just days before his struggling Merrill Lynch firm was acquired by the Bank of America.

Although no reason was given for his resignation, a spokesman for Bank of America, which acquired Merrill Lynch at the beginning of this year in a government-negotiated deal to save it from collapse, issued a statement saying: "(BofA Chairman and CEO) Ken Lewis flew to New York today to talk to John Thain. And it was mutually agreed that his situation was not working out and he would resign."
What the hell can I say? I got nothin.

Read the rest on ABC News, or Daily Beast (who's writer broke the story).

UPDATE 1/26: Thain has come forward and announced he will pay back all the money spent on the renovations. He apologized, explaining this was done a year ago. It was still an extravagant symbol of what is wrong with corporate America, but he's trying to reform, at least for now.

UPDATE 1/27: He's still a total dick. According to NY Post: Recently eating at a restaurant, he loudly told the waiter, for all to hear, "under the circumstances with this tough economy, I think I'll have tap water." He then ran up a $130+ bill and left a lousey tip.