With two more members of the Mad Money Wall of Shame fired this week, Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Robert Willumstad of AIG, whose predecessor Marty Sullivan was also on the Wall (another win for us), it's becoming eerie how predictive this thing is.
We had Kerry Killinger of Washington Mutual on the Wall, and last week he was canned. Just look at the numbers, I was blown away when we did the calculation: Of the 19 people who we've removed from the Wall of Shame (out of just 23 total members in its history), 13 were fired or resigned, only three were pardoned, and three were moved to positions where they couldn't do as much damage, like AMD's Hector Ruiz, who stopped being CEO in order to become executive chairman. I count that as a win, but you can use your own judgment. Thirteen of 23 CEOs who we've called on to resign have either done that or been kicked odd. If this were baseball, that batting average would be out of this world.
And we only have four executives left on the list, despite our attempts to keep it current: Yahoo!'s Jerry Yang in the number one position, Gary Pruitt of McClatchy taking the silver medal for executive incompetence now that Willumstad has been removed, Wes Edens of Fortress gets the bronze, and Sallie Mae's Albert Lord in the fourth position. Who wants to bet these guys will either get pushed out or resign to spend more time with their families?
I wouldn't doubt the odds. So far the Wall of Shame has done a pretty good job of telling you which CEOs are on the way out. We've nailed everybody from Chuck Prince at Citigroup to Peter Dolan at Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of our first members, to Alcatel-Lucent's Patricia Russo, to the latest three numbskulls.
Note to the press: If you want to write an easy story about CEO firings, you've got all the facts right here.
Cliff Mason is the Senior Writer of CNBC's Mad Money w/Jim Cramer, and has been that program's primary writer, in cooperation with and under the supervision of Jim Cramer, since he began at CNBC as an intern during the summer of 2005. Mason was the author of a column at TheStreet.com during 2007, which he describes as "hilarious, if short-lived." He graduated from Harvard College in 2007. It was at Harvard that Mason learned to multi-task, mastering the art of seeming to pay attention to professors while writing scripts for Mad Money. Mason has co-written two books with Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Richand Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). He is 100% responsible for any parts of either book that you did not like.
Mason has also had a fruitful relationship with Jim Cramer as his nephew for the last 23 years and will hopefully continue to hold that position for many more as long as he doesn't do anything to get himself kicked out of the family.
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