Homeless Executive Lands Job as CEO
CNBC.com News Editor
In yet another sign that the economy is recovering, one homeless, unemployed former executive has landed a job as the CEO of an Internet firm.
Jim Kennedy, if you recall, gained notoriety for going from six figures to homelessafter he lost his job and then his condo to foreclosure and lived off of his one million rewards points, hopping from hotel to hotel.
The firm, Netword, which makes a web-search app for geographically-targeted advertisements, read one of the many articles about him and decided to hire him.
Seeing how much publicity he got for living off of his rewards points, I’d say he was a natural fit for advertising!
Kennedy offers a pitch about how Netword’s app works: If you do a search on any major search engine — Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com or AOL — let’s say for “dog groomer,” it would turn up advertisements for any local dog groomers who bought that word — that “netword,” if you will.
He’s thrilled to have a job finally, after 18 months of being without a paycheck, but admits that he took a paycut of nearly 50 percent from his last position. He hopes that if he’s able to grow the business, he’ll be able to get back to what he was making before.
So, what did he do when he found out he got the job — throw a party? Crack open a bottle of wine from his storage unit?
Actually, he didn’t celebrate at all.
“I’m a little superstitious,” Kennedy said, citing a few experiences where he was close to getting a job and then it fell through at the last minute. One time the hiring manager said “I’ll call you next week.” Kennedy called the next week only to find out the guy didn’t work there anymore.
Well, he did do one thing — He treated himself to some ice cream.
“I hadn’t had any ice cream for 9 or 10 months,” he said. “It became a little bit of a rule — No ice cream until I got a job!” he quipped.
And, in case you were wondering — you were, weren’t you? — it was a “Strawberry Blonde” sundae from Cold Stone Creamery, which involves strawberry ice cream, graham cracker pie crust, strawberries, caramel and whipped cream.
He’s burned through most of his Delta and United miles, but says he still has a few points left at several hotels, including Wyndham Hotels , which gave him a block of miles a few weeks ago to help him out.
But, for now he won’t need them — he’s currently looking for an apartment in Ventura, Calif., about an hour and 15 minutes northwest of Los Angeles, where the company is located.
Kennedy said he didn’t mind being so transient when he was “homeless” and hopping from hotel to hotel — he sort of got used to it. But the one luxury he really missed was his television in HD.
A word of advice for people still looking for a job — Kennedy said recruiters used to be looking for 3-4 requirements from potential candidates, now they want 10 to 12.
“They’re looking to hire Bill Gates!” he exclaimed.
Kennedy tweeted about his homeless job-hunting experience and everything he learned, including the fact that if you’re in a hotel on the Cinco de Mayo, make sure it doesn’t back up to a Mexican Restaurant!
Now, you can read about all of his employed adventures at the same place — Twitter.com/HomelessThomOC.
That’s one down. Now, just 14.999999 million more unemployed to go!
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- The Next Crisis...Labor Shortages?
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