AIG CEO: 'You're Not Sure Whether I'm a Bull In A China Shop Or Not, But You Know I'm A Bull'


Photo: ReutersTV/YouTube

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche is nothing if not outspoken. In a recent profile in New York Magazine, he argued that the government should be thanking him and his company for its comeback after a massive bailout and described a rather unique marriage. In an interview with former UBS CEO Robert Wolf on Reuters TV, when asked about his reputation as a “bull in a china shop,” Benmosche uses some evocative imagery to describe his leadership style and approach to management:

“My style is that you’re not sure whether I’m a bull in a china shop or not, but you know I’m a bull and you know I’m tough and you know that I’m going to charge and i’m going to get things done. 

… I often talk about Indiana Jones. … And I’ve learned in life from the scene where this Arab comes in with this big sword, great scene, and finally he (Indiana Jones) just takes out the gun and shoots him.

In life you have to figure out whether you’re the guy with the sword or with the gun. And when I’m talked about as a bull in a china shop, I’m really the guy who’s working to get the gun, because when you have the gun you can win the war. So that’s generally my style when we have a tough thing to do, I’ll get in I’ll work with people but in the end people must believe in your vision, and that you’ll work with them.”

Government officials have certainly had some unpleasant experiences tussling with Benmosche, but you can’t argue with the fact that AIG’s still there. Few would have taken that bet in late 2008. 

See the full interview excerpt here

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