Executive Compensation, Sandy Weill, and Subservient Boards

by J. Robert Brown, for The Race to the Bottom, January 7, 2010.

Citigroup has always been an interesting story.  In Opening Japan’s Financial Markets, a book I published back in 1994, I wrote a chapter on Citigroup’s (ne Citibank) unique efforts to crack the otherwise very closed world of Japanese banking.  It has a rich history and while there have been many mistakes, it has also had a history of innovation.

Citigroup has fallen on hard times.  Over the weekend, The New York Times published a story about Sandy Weill, the architect of Citigroup.  The story has a number of themes, including Weill’s “responsibility” for current crisis at the Bank (“’One of the major mistakes that I made was my recommending Chuck Prince,’ he says of his handpicked successor, who ran the company from 2003 to 2007.”), and his irrelevancy to any solution (when approaching the Citigroup board in 2007 to become involved, “No one responded to his offers.”)…(continue reading)

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