“Chutzpah in the C-Suite”

Dec. 23, 2011 – A recent Public Affairs Council survey said the American public “has a good opinion about business in general but not of its leadership. Chief executives got low scores for fairness, honesty and ethics,” as reported in The Business column in the Wall Street Journal.

John Bussey titled this “Chutzpah” because of the generous amounts of money some CEOs funneled to themselves. He thought it outrageous that Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy getting his hand slapped for $12 million after engineering a $112 million payment to himself in 2008 as the company stock “tanked 60%.”

He also took exception to Avon, who paid off Andrea Jung with a $1 million-per-year ceremonial post when asking her to leave her CEO job. She ended up earning nearly as much as she did as CEO, although Avon’s shares had dropped 40%. Bonuses and other long-term payments may add up to another $4 million per year.

His conclusion, “Sometimes ‘How dare you!’ just feels like the right question to ask.”

Rewarding Failure

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