Martin Sullivan Deathwatch, Redux

Martin Sullivan is still holding on to the CEO job at AIG, despite last month’s attempt to use the WSJ to oust him. Still, if at first you don’t succeed, try again, and so there’s a new front-page WSJ story today which sticks the knife in even further – this time it’s not only employees such as Steven Udvar-Hazy who are quoted as being unhappy with Sullivan, but even the chairman of the board:

AIG Chairman Robert Willumstad and director Morris Offitt met with Mr. Broad, Mr. Davis and Mr. Davis’s son Christopher, a portfolio manager at the Davis firm, in midtown Manhattan. There, the investors expressed their concerns about the company’s performance.

"You’re not telling us anything we don’t know," Mr. Willumstad said, according to a person familiar with the situation. "We’re unhappy about the performance as well."

The most damning part of the article, however, isn’t the fact that Sullivan’s boss is unhappy about his performance – it’s rather the way in which Sullivan’s own spokesman defends it.

An AIG spokesman defended Mr. Sullivan’s track record. "Under Mr. Sullivan’s effective leadership throughout 2005, AIG was able to file audited financials…

At that point, you can stop reading. If the best thing that Martin Sullivan has done, according to his own spokesman, is to have filed audited financials in 2005, you know it’s all over.

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