Leadership Corporate Leaders

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    As many of you know, Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli was booted yesterday - to a $210 million severance package. If he was an athlete (he actually was a star football player at Western Illinois), that would mean this contract would be the second largest in sports history in total value behind A-Rod's 10-year, $252 million deal he signed in 2000 and that's to play, not - as Nardelli's situation commands - to NOT "play." Including his severance, stock options and salary, it's estimated he made $360 million in six years.

  • Morning Star

    Who's the best CEO in the country? Morningstar knows what separates the best from the rest. On CNBC’s “Morning Call” Pat Dorsey, Morningstar's Director of Stock analysis revealed Morningstar’s CEO of the Year!

  • When I walked in to dinner with Ford CEO Alan Mulally on Wednesday night, I knew the menu would include a tasty entree, a sweet dessert, and a  healthy dose of candor. All courtesy of the "outsider" trying to turnaround the struggling automaker. I expected the honesty since that's what I found while covering Mulally as he turned around Boeing Commercial Airplanes. And at this dinner, he was forthright in his praise of Toyota.

  • Nardelli, who has been CEO since 2000, has been under fire by investors for his hefty pay and the poor performance of the company's stock price during his six-year tenure.

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    Just a day before Apple files its delayed annual report, some blockbuster news is being digested, courtesy of the Financial Times: Steve Jobs receives 7.5 million options without board approval. And even worse, documents were forged, the article says -- courtesy of sources close to the investigation -- by Apple execs to cover up the misappropriated options. If the news is true, it's stunning. It taints Steve Jobs, possibly beyond repair. And it would taint a company so totally driven my "image" and good PR. That is, if the the news is true.

  • When I heard that Ford CEO Alan Mulally met earlier this month in Tokyo with Toyota CEO Fujio Cho, I wasn't surprised. Nor should Ford investors and fans of the #2 American automaker. This is yet another sign, Mulally is bound and determined to move his company into a more competitive position - even if that means learning from a fierce competitor that is about to pass Ford.

  • After the market close yesterday Pfizer, in an SEC filing, revealed that ousted Chairman and CEO Hank McKinnell will walk away with nearly $200 million in pension benefits, deferred compensation and other cash and stock including more than $300,000 in unused vacation time.  This is well above the pension benefits that had been reported earlier this year and includes money that had not previously been disclosed.  A Pfizer spokesman says the company is honoring its legal obligation to meet the terms of McKinnell's employment contract which was signed in 2001--"a different time in the company's history," he said.

  • Talk about holiday cheer! Former Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell is walking away from the drugmaker $200 million richer. This despite investor anger about his rich retirement benefits. CNBC'S Mike Huckman has the lowdown on McKinnell's millions.

  • So there's vanity publishing, and now there's vanity TV investing -- big, powerful execs paying to expand a series of TV networks that targets people JUST LIKE THEM. Also, if people can TiVo through commercials and are too smart to click on Internet ads, the best way to spread your brand is to give people what they want...

  • Two days after Pfizer named new CEO Jeff Kindler Chairman of the Board, Merck has promoted its CEO Dick Clark to Chairman as well. Clark has been on the job a year longer than Kindler and Merck's stock has performed about three times better than Pfizer shares this year. Former Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell was expected to remain Chairman through next February, when he will leave the Board altogether, but the directors decided to give Kindler an early Christmas present.

  • I had the unusual opportunity of sitting down with a media icon from what seems like another era. Someone I've always wanted to interview, someone I used to read about and cover from afar. So when the opportunity came up to sit down with Gerald Levin, now "Jerry," I jumped at the chance.

  • CEO's are optimistic about the new year--according to the Chief Executive Magazine's CEO confidence index (this is a yearly survey of American CEOs). The magazine's own CEO--Ed Kopko--appeared on "Morning Call" with the details. The CEOs are positive about the U.S. economy in 2007--according to Kopko. He says they feel good that interest rates are low and that company profits are "rolling in" in high numbers.

  • FAO Schwarz is celebrating a successful turnaround and it’s welcome news for this once beleaguered retailer. So how does a niche toy seller run “neck in neck” with giants such as Geoffrey The Giraffe? CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo found out from FAO Schwarz CEO Ed Schmults.

  • Minutes after I wrote the last blog entry came the news that Pfizer is indeed raising its dividend -- 21% or a nickel in the first quarter of next year. The news is not a huge surprise -- the move had been widely speculated upon after Pfizer shares plunged on the loss of torcetrapib a couple of weeks ago.

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    Last week the Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, was asked if the residential real estate market had bottomed.  He refused to answer the question.  But as we approach the New Year, that is arguably the biggest question in real estate.  The spring season is right around the corner, traditionally the busiest for buying and selling, and many believe it will tell the true story of the state of the market.

  • Steve Miller, the CEO of bankrupt parts maker Delphi is stepping down as chief executive and leaving a position he used to force huge changes on the auto industry. Here in Detroit, there will no doubt be plenty of rank and file workers cheering Miller's departure. After all, he is the man who said point blank, "many of you will lose your jobs, and others will likely have their pay cut". Tough medicine no doubt.

  • The Mulally "re-mix" is starting to play out at Ford , and the new CEO isn't waiting long to send a message.  The question is how much this management shake up will go in reviving ford. Long-time Ford employee Derrick Kuzak has been put in charge of global vehicle development after previously serving as Ford's VP of product development. The new job means Kuzak is the man...

  • General Electric is affirming its earnings estimate for this year, and forecasting profit growth of 10-13% in 2007.  The parent company of this network also boosting its quarterly dividend by 12%. This morning--GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt spoke with The Squawk Box team – explaining how he'll deliver a "high-visibility, low-risk" year.

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    "2006 was an important year. We're a company that's transforming, not transformed.  We still have a lot of work left to be done." That's the upshot from HP CEO Mark Hurd addressing a couple of hundred Wall Street analysts and assembled media at the Sheraton New York this morning.

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    I’ve been to some parties. I’ve been to the Playboy, Maxim and Penthouse Super Bowl parties and I’ve judged the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest. That being said, it’s hard to convince me to go to some of these things. I’ve had every type of mini eggroll and pig in a blanket. But there was no chance I wasn’t going to Sunday night’s Nike party in New York City for the 25th anniversary of the Air Force 1 -- a shoe that since 1982 has been one of Nike’s best selling iterations.