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Friday, June 10, 2005

Hell freezes over... 
...and a corporate board of directors actually engages in due diligence and independent oversight over management.



The abrupt notice of termination given last week to the head of MassMutual Financial Group, one of the nation's largest financial companies, came after a board investigation concluded he had engaged in an improper pattern of self-dealing and abuse of power, according to people familiar with the probe.

The probe made several allegations against former Chairman and Chief Executive Robert J. O'Connell, among them that he inflated the value of a special retirement account by tens of millions of dollars, bought a company-owned condominium at a below-market price and interfered in efforts to discipline his son and son-in-law, who worked at MassMutual, said people familiar with the probe.



http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111836461879356053,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us

What I find most interesting about this article isn't the fact that the exec was brought down -- it's the sheer number of knives stuck in his back in the process.

While the usual practice is not to make public comment on terminations not involving criminal conduct, apparently multiple sources went to the Wall Street Journal with details of self-dealing and even allegations and rumors of infidelity with a colleague executive - infidelity that was never proven, according to the article. But they aired it out to the Journal anyway.

What's more, this board spent years trying to make the case.

They did everything but draw and quarter this guy and carry his limbs to the four corners of the kingdom, and then salt his lands so that nothing would ever grow there again.

In the coded language of the corporate world, this guy got strung up like Mussolini and Coucescu.

This guy, apparently, was hated.

Amazing and terrible to watch: Like a group of baboons suddenly turning upon one of their own and tearing him to shreads.

Splash, out

Jason

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