Inaugural AS Award
In addition to my regular blogs, I have decided to commence bestowing my AS (absurdly silly) Award. This will not be a regular feature. Rather, when someone deserving appears, I will will describe the achievements that warrant the honor of this award. Perhaps, one day it will rank up there with the Noble Prize.
While there are many worthwhile candidates, my inaugural award goes to the Board of the Bank of America. I am not honoring them for their sleepwalking through the chaos and destruction that surrounded and engulfed their Bank, or for their approvals of absurdly silly decisions by senior management.
They have earned the top spot because of their reported response to the resignation of Ken Lewis, the CEO of the Bank. Apparently, they were “blindsided” by his resignation announcement on Wednesday of this week. Obviously, they have not yet removed their heads from where they have collectively kept them for the past 18 months; otherwise, they might have come across at least one of the many articles, reports and commentaries demanding that they fire Mr. Lewis. More distressing, their surprise and response (“If we had more notice we could have started work on it”) indicate that succession planning is a foreign concept for them.
The Board is contemplating hiring an interim CEO for two years to give some promising internal candidates time to prove themselves. Why two years? Could it be that the Board would not recognize any of theses candidates today if they passed them in the halls of the head office?
Earlier in the year, the Board asked Mr. Lewis when he intended to step down. He said he would stay until the end of 2010. Who is the “genius” that advised the Board that it is now good corporate governance to leave the decision of the departure of a CEO to the CEO? Was the Board planning to return to auto pilot until the end of 2010?
And if my calendar is correct, the end of 2010 is only 15 months away. How much advance notice does the Board require? Or were they simply going to ask Mr. Lewis towards the end of next year if he had changed his mind and was planning to stay longer?
Hats off to the Board of the Bank of America as the winners of my first AS Award. Well done!
PS Amadeo Giannini must be rolling in his grave.