Robert Benmosche, AIG’s new $7 million CEO, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a great start image-wise.
His high pay is under review; he has a conflict of interest with MetLife, which he formerly ran; and he took off for vacation within days of starting as chief executive of the troubled insurance giant.
That’s probably why he gave a long interview to Reuters from his 12 bathroom Croatian coastal villa to help reassure anxious people back in the U.S. that he’s the right man for the job.
Reuters: “People criticise me for being on vacation. I actually started work a week before I was actually supposed to,” Robert Benmosche told Reuters in an interview. “I do have conference calls every day, I have all my information sent here. I can work here as well as in the office in New York.”
Maybe. But for every good talking-point quote like this:
“If I sit here, I just felt that there are going to be continuing problems. I felt I had some of the skills necessary to fix the problems of AIG in particular and it made sense to come back.”
…there’s a cringe-inducing one like this:
“Every bathroom is like a piece of art,” he said while showing off his master bathroom with his wife, Denise. “Women go wild when they walk in here.”
Someone needs to tell this guy about “strategic communications” or investors are going to lose their already shaky confidence in the company.
Then again, AIG’s stock shot up recently because of rumours that Benmosche is reconciling with Hank Greenberg. With AIG, there is no logic.
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