Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bye bye ABN AMRO

Yesterday, the 'consortium' received permission from Brussels to buy ABN AMRO, one of the largest banks in the world. It remains a mystery to the layman why on earth ABN AMRO had to be sold off. One of the reasons is - without a doubt - the letter written by the mischieviously inaptly named Children's Investments Fund. One other reason is - also without a doubt to me and a lot of other people - the vast amount of money ABN AMRO's CEO Rijkman Groenink will receive as a 'reward' for selling off his company.

Isn't that the wrong way around? Reward the man for keeping the company I understand, rewarding him for acquiring another company I understand too. Rewarding him for selling it seems insane.

This is even more true in the case of Numico, which was sold off to Danone by, generating a hughe prize for Numico's CEO, allegedly reaching into the tens of millions of euros. Again: reward the man for keeping Numico a strong, healthy, independent company, not for selling it to a foreign rival. Notice, by the way, Numico's CEO was a Danone employee until recently. The man just sold off his current company to his old one.

Explain it to me - and don't start babbling about investor capital or all that rubish, explain it to me from the viewpoint of the employee of those companies and the viewpoint of their customers - explain why on earth these people get rewarded instead of crucified?

It seems to me CEO's get rewarded for finding their chair and coffeecup in the morning. Did you ever hear of a CEO who failed to receive his bonus? Do they get contracts that state 'you receive a bonus unless Armageddon' instead of the 'you might receive a bonus, maybe, perhaps and in the eventuality etc.' that I always get??

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