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When people come in corporate jets to beg

November 21, 2008

Many American CEOs still don’t get it.

If you come in sleek private jets, knock on the door with tin can in hand begging for a bailout, you get laughed out the door. That was exactly what happened yesterday when the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler and GM flew in style to Washington to plead for a $25 billion bailout.

Bloggers like The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder got it wrong. This was not a PR mishap. There is a time for PR shows and there is a time for honesty. This was a time for honesty and yesterday we had a fantastic view of CEOs who ask others to make sacrifices while they do not.

It costs each CEO $20,000 to fly round-trip from Detroit in a private jet, $900 for the same (first class) in a commercial airline. Their reason for this exclusive travel? Security. Wow, we got planes falling out of the sky every day across the US. No kidding.

The automakers PR machinery, in panic, responded with a “tai ji” statement saying that all these comments about their CEO’s lavishness is just diverting attention from the real issue of a potentially disastrous automaker collapse. in other words, so what if our CEO’s sucking out your tax dollars to finance their lavish lifestyles. Look, just give us your damn money okay.

In all fairness, saving $20,000 x 3 will not save the billion-dollar auto industry from bankruptcy but it goes to prove a point – that these 3 CEOs, their PR machinery and probably many in their senior management don’t belong there. It’s attitudes like this – greed and screw ’em all – that led to decisions that precipitated this financial disaster. They should be held accountable and if nothing else, made an example to other CEOs who come begging for a bailout.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2008 9:28 am

    Couldn’t agree me. The Big Three CEOs are plain arrogant. How can they ask for a bail out when they don’t trip their corporate spending. And they didn’t even present a concrete plan on how the bail out can help them.

    Thank God the decision on the rescue plan has been postponed.

    These CEOs need to understand that change starts with themselves. They failed the first test.

  2. November 21, 2008 9:48 am

    It’s quite normal in the corporate world to have leaders with celebrity status. It happens in Malaysia too. People getting retrenched coz their bosses screwed up…and they ended up jobless. But their bosses are still living in their multi-million dollar bungalow and driving posh cars.

    That’s why I really respect people like Warren who prefers to lead a simpler life. Reading his Snowball book now. 😀

    That’s the cold reality of living on a salary. I took it as a positive reason to go do something for myself and that’s what I’m doing now. 🙂

  3. November 21, 2008 3:58 pm

    Yep… The bailout is welfare for the rich.

    Pity those folks in US who are losing their jobs because of their bosses’ screw ups. Their jobs are moving over to other parts of the globe in an effort to bolster the company and help maintain their bosses “normal” lifestyle.

    I think the public has woken up and these boss’s days are numbered. Its tough but I think the US govt will do the right thing. They’ll boot out the culprits, inject in money and put professional managers in charge of rehabilitation.

  4. LC Teh permalink
    November 21, 2008 5:49 pm

    The world had enough for everyone’s needs – until greed showed his ugly head…
    Now the half of the world that went hungry will be even worse.
    Oh, of course they won’t see it all because they’re riding in their jets from one posh office to another.

    It takes all kinds to run a company. As they say, gold sinks to the bottom as sh*t floats to the top.

  5. November 21, 2008 11:55 pm

    The auto companies sent multi-millionaires on private jets to plead for free money. That’s like sending obese restaurant owners to plead for free food.

    Haha, thanks for that visualization. 😀

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