The much publicized downfalls of these 6 high profile CEOs made front page news, but how are they keeping busy now? Living at home with Mom? African missionaries? Devoting a lot of time to local charities? Probably not.
From Fortune Magazine and CNN Money, check out Wall Street’s version of the ‘where are they now?’ file:
1. Gary Foresee – Sprint
Downfall: Longtime telecom veteran was pressured to step down as Sprint CEO in October in the wake of a slide in profitability and subscribers linked to the rocky $35 billion merger he engineered with Nextel and an expensive bet on WiMax broadband.
Today: Entered academia as president of his alma mater, the University of Missouri, in February.
Nothing says ‘cool’ like going back to school. “I will take no questions during lectures relating to ‘Why I suck’ ”
2. Jimmy Cayne – Bear Stearns
Downfall: Resigned as Bear Stearns CEO in January, months after being blasted for absences during the 2007 liquidity crisis. Was non-exec chairman during Bear’s near-collapse.
Today: Was still chairman until Bear’s recent acquisition by J.P. Morgan closed this week. Comes into the office, but keeps mostly to himself. Has reportedly rejected offers from boards and hedge funds.
He is also apparently having a great time giving heartfelt apologies to his former employees and being met with blank stares.
3. Tom Freston – Viacom
Downfall: Axed as Viacom CEO in 2006 after Chairman Sumner Redstone grew disenchanted with him.
Today: Helping create a new cable operation to be called OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). Chairs ONE, the antipoverty campaign started by U2 frontman Bono, and joined Dreamworks’s board. Also doing reconstruction work in Afghanistan.
This guy seems pretty cool, with the charity work and all, but wait… Oprah Winfrey Network? Double epic fail! … or should I say ‘OWN’ ? More like PWNed!
4. Stanley O’Neal – Merril Lynch
Downfall: Amid massive mortgage-related losses, ousted as Merrill Lynch CEO in October after floating the idea of a merger with Wachovia without consulting Merrill’s board.
Today: Joined Alcoa’s board in January. Otherwise, has kept a low public profile, but continues to post his golf scores and handicap (9.2, as of May 14) online.
Call this guy a loser all you want, but he is still able to earn a massive salary and play golf all the time. Sounds like a champ to me.
5. Chuck Prince – Citigroup
Downfall: Some $18 billion of mortgage-related write-offs, after years of underperformance, spelled doom for the Citigroup CEO, who resigned in November.
Today: Keeps an office, assistant, and car and driver at Citigroup. Sits on the board at Johnson & Johnson and is a trustee of the Juilliard School and the Weill Cornell Medical College.
It doesn’t seem like his new replacement, Vikram Pandit, is doing much better, despite being obsessed with insomniacs.
6. Terry Semel – Yahoo!
Downfall: Onetime movie exec stepped down as Yahoo CEO in June 2007 following shareholder dissatisfaction over poor stock performance. Stayed on as chairman until January.
Today: Has revived his investment firm, Windsor Media (founded in 1999), and hired two former Yahoo execs to ramp up the company and possibly seek Hollywood deals.
Now, apparently Yahoo is full of a bunch of stubborn jerks who couldn’t see a good deal if it was wearing a bikini and sitting in their lap. Looks like Semel made out good in the long run.