“Good morning, troops. Our performance this year has been horrific. So today I’m sacking 53,000 of you.”
That was the message Citi CEO Vikram Pandit delivered this morning to Citi’s 350,000 employees. According to those present, the message bombed. Pandit sounded like an out-of-touch finance professor with no clear strategy other than “keep doing what you’re doing while we fire one in six of you.”
Pandit also didn’t have an answer to the only question that wasn’t leaked prior to the conference call: Was he going to follow in Goldman’s footsteps and forgo his bonus on account of the firm’s catastrophic year?
CEO Pandit declined to comment. Which means: “No, for now, I’m planning on giving myself a bonus.”
And now an offended New York Attorney General is going to urge Citi to forgo executive bonuses, says CNBC. Which means they will forgo them. After having been forced into it. Thus losing whatever small PR benefit this gesture would have giving them had they voluntarily passed on them.
Bottom line, once again Vikram Pandit and Co. have blown it. No surprise that the stock is trading below $9 a share.
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