Chief Executive of the Year Dinner 2002.On the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of July 8th, 11 Wall Street buzzed--not with the tumult of frenzied floor traders buying and selling securities, but with the clinking clink 1
intr. & tr.v. clinked, clink·ing, clinks
To make or cause to make a light, sharp ringing sound: clinked their wineglasses together in a toast.
n. of glasses and casual banter of some 200 CEOs and their guests. It hadn't been an easy day for America's business leaders, who hours earlier watched the market slide 127 points, nor had there been much to celebrate over the past several months. But at Chief Executive's annual black-tie event, co-sponsored with the New York Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
World's largest marketplace for securities. The exchange began as an informal meeting of 24 men in 1792 on what is now Wall Street in New York City. , CEOs took a few hours out to celebrate free enterprise and the U.S. capital markets and to toast the 2002 Chief Executive of the Year, Sandy Weill.
Not everybody was relaxing, however. The guest of honor, even as he shook hands, exchanged jibes and accepted well wishes from peers, seemed to grow anxious as the evening wore on. During dinner, between hasty bites of his ketchup-doused filet mignon fi·let mi·gnon
n. pl. fi·lets mi·gnons
A small, round, very choice cut of beef from the loin.
[French : filet, fillet + mignon, dainty.]
Noun 1. , the chairman of Citigroup checked and rechecked the time, impatient to be called to the podium to deliver his acceptance speech. "It's getting late, isn't it?" Weill finally asked at 9:30.
The CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Year had reason to be anxious. That very day, Jack Grubman, star telecommunications analyst with Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney Smith Barney is a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets Inc., a global, full-service financial firm, that provides brokerage, investment banking and asset management services to corporations, governments and individuals around the world. , had testified before the House Financial Services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. Committee, which was investigating WorldCom's massive earnings overstatement o·ver·state
tr.v. o·ver·stat·ed, o·ver·stat·ing, o·ver·states
To state in exaggerated terms. See Synonyms at exaggerate.
o . Citigroup had already come under the scrutiny of congressional committees and the National Association of Securities Dealers National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)
Nonprofit organization formed under the joint sponsorship of the investment bankers' conference and the SEC to comply with the Maloney Act, which provides for the regulation of the OTC market. , investigating possible foul play foul play
Unfair or treacherous action, especially when involving violence.
1. violent activity esp. murder
2. among the country's biggest investment banks The following is a list of investment banks Financial conglomerates
Large financial-services conglomerates combine commercial banking and investment banking, and sometimes insurance. and their clients, including ties to Enron. Despite record earnings in Citigroup's most recent quarter--$4.1 billion--news of the investigation had sunk its stock price by 25 percent, eroding some $45 billion of market value. And though the recent stumble can't efface the strong average annual return Weill has produced for shareholders--33 percent per year over the past 10--it has put his reputation on the line.
In keeping with the gravity of the times, Weill rejected the safe, rhetoric-filled thank-you address in favor of a carefully prepared call-to-arms to corporate chiefs, urging them to take responsibility for their companies' practices and recognize their roles as moral compasses for corporate America.
When he finally took the stage, Weill allowed himself only a few moments of levity lev·i·ty
n. pl. lev·i·ties
1. Lightness of manner or speech, especially when inappropriate; frivolity.
2. Inconstancy; changeableness.
3. The state or quality of being light; buoyancy. as he accepted the award from outgoing CEO of the Year Michael Dell Michael Saul Dell (born February 23, 1965, in Houston, Texas) is the founder and CEO of Dell, Inc. Biography
Early life and education
The son of an orthodontist, Dell was born in to an upper-class Jewish family and attended Herod Elementary School in Houston, and CE's CEO Ed Kopko (who is also CEO of Butler International), raising the crystal trophy above his head in a victory salute and joking about the age disparity between himself and Dell. Then he got down to business. "Tonight is a time to be serious," he began, his face perspiring under the lights as he ticked off the extraordinary challenges companies have faced in the past year, including the global recession, terrorism, the meltdown in Argentina and the largest bankruptcy in history. "These corporate scandals have shaken our faith in America's financial system," he said. "They have also called into question the integrity of our corporate executives."
The job of restoring that faith will have to start at the top, he added. "We must begin asking what we, as CEOs, have to do, however challenging and uncomfortable it may be," Weill said. "There have been too many examples of corporate executives pumping up the value of their companies and then dumping their holdings just before the companies crash. Investors and employees are left holding the bag." (In response to the recent drop in Citigroup's stock, Weill initiated a corporate buyback program and sent an apology letter to every Citi employee.)
Noting that Citigroup has long held a long-term buy-and-hold investment strategy-which includes imposing strict thresholds for how much stock senior managers must own before they can sell options or restricted stock, and then requiring them to hold onto 75 percent until they retire - Weill sharply criticized short-term thinking. "When companies reprice options, a big alarm should go off. Our board has never done that, and we never will," he said.
In addition to suggesting expensing options for top officers (which Coca-Cola, General Electric and other companies have since announced they are voluntarily imposing) and reiterating the need for CEOs to be "completely committed to transparency," Well stated that a "bullet-proof audit process" was essential. He proposed that it include the creation of an independent authority to oversee the conduct of auditors, "in effect, an SEC for the accounting industry." Congress agreed, voting recently in favor of a bill that would establish just such an oversight board.
But while legislators can strengthen the system, Weill added, CEOs may play an even greater role in restoring the public's faith. "It starts within our own organizations, by the example we set for honest, professional and ethical behavior."
That includes giving back to the community, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Weill. "We must be conscious of a broader purpose than simply delivering profits," he noted. "What separates good from great companies is the commitment we make to the communities in which we do business." As examples of corporate giving, Weill offered the National Academy Foundation, which Weill founded in 1982 and which today has 32,000 students in 38 states and the U.K.; the Citigroup foundation, which gave more than $67 million to organizations around the world; and the Citigroup Relief Fund, which has raised $20 million for a scholarship fund to grant education to the children of the victims of September 11.
After thanking Citigroup's 270,000 employees, and Joan, his wife of 47 years, Weill accepted a toast in his honor and stepped down from the podium, visibly relieved. "That felt good," he said in a brief interview with CE. "I talked about a lot of the things I really believe in." His new title won't just be for show either; Weill takes the position seriously and aims to be a role model for the CEOs who selected him. "My biggest responsibility [as CEO of the Year] is to work on restoring public confidence in the markets and in our companies."
That speaks for them all.
RELATED ARTICLE: A Jury of His Peers:
How the CEO of the Year is selected
EACH YEAR Chief Executive solicits nominations from its C-suite-level readers for the CEO of the Year and submits the 10 most frequently mentioned candidates to a panel of CEO judges. The selection committee reviews the finalists, looking both at external benchmarks--such as outstanding and sustained financial performance and significant return to shareholders--and at less tangible leadership qualities, such as the ability to inspire loyalty and to adapt to change. This year's panel also cited Sandy Weill's commitment to community, demonstrated through personal and corporate philanthropy.
Michael Dell, Golden Boy
In a low-key champagne ceremony in a boardroom of the NYSE NYSE
See: New York Stock Exchange , last year's honoree, Michael Dell, away a royal blue drape drape
To cover, dress, or hang with or as if with cloth in loose folds.
A cloth arranged over a patient's body during an examination or treatment or during surgery, designed to provide a sterile field around the area. from an honorary bust bearing his likeness. Face to bust, he peered at it from the front, crouched down, and then stepped around to look at it from the side.
"It looks just like me, only golden," he finally remarked, as photographers crowded in.
Sandy Well brushed a deferential deferential /def·er·en·tial/ (-en´shal) pertaining to the ductus deferens.
Of or relating to the vas deferens.
pertaining to the ductus deferens. palm across the gleaming brow. "Where are you going to put it?" he murmured. "That's going in the kid's room," laughed Michael's younger brother Wiki is aware of the following uses of "'Younger Brother":
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of who once worked for Michael at Dell Computer. "You can hang baseball hats on it," someone else quipped.
Wherever it ultimately comes to rest, it will join a crowded collection. Only Dick Clark
Richard Wagstaff "Dick" Clark (born November 30, 1929) is an Emmy Award-winning American television, radio personality, game show host and businessman, he served as has rung in as many new years as Michael Dell. Recognition has poured in from magazines like Inc., Financial World and Worth. When he's not "CEO of the Year," he's "Man of the Year" or "Entrepreneur of the Year." And that's not even mentioning the Top 25 lists he's graced.
All told, Dell doesn't need a layer of enamel to be golden. A special glimmer has tinged his career since he began selling PCs out of his dorm room at age 17. When the 37-year-old, "baby-faced billionaire" took the stage to introduce Weill, he resembled Weill's son more than his predecessor. Weill acknowledged as much with a humble opening remark, "For Chief Executive magazine to move from the youngest winner to, maybe, someone who's not the youngest winner, is a pretty good move."
Earlier, after the unveiling of the bust, as guests poured into the Stock Exchange from Broad Street, Dell eluded camera crews seeking to question him and other CEO guests about the crisis of confidence in American business, telling a CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. reporter, "This is Sandy's night."
But Dell paused at one point to consider the moral burden of being CEO of the Year --or any CEO any day of the year: "There's a responsibility that comes with leading a company and with the success that comes with having the opportunities we have," Dell explained during an interview on the stock exchange floor. "There's a responsibility in how we contribute to society. I don't think large numbers of companies have engaged in bad behavior. But even a few is enough to tarnish tarnish,
n 1. surface discoloration or loss of luster by metals. Under oral conditions, it often results from hard and soft deposits.
2. a chemical process by which a metal surface is discolored or its luster destroyed. the view of a lot of companies, and that distrust is hard to earn back. Some things are being done already--there's more transparency facing companies to explain themselves; regulation and guidelines have been proposed."
And should CEOs be held personally accountable? That's a non sequitur non sequitur (nahn sek [as in heck]-kwit-her) n. Latin for "it does not follow." The term usually means that a conclusion does not logically follow from the facts or law, stated: "That's a non sequitur." , in Dell's opinion. "I thought we already were," he answered, speaking for upstanding CEOs everywhere, "and we believe we are."