Truly, characters like Oliver Stone‘s Gordon Gekko should cause us to either applaud or cringe. He either exemplifies all that we love about corporate-raiding moguls or everything we simply cannot stand about the stock-splitting takeover scumbags. One major notion that Gekko’s character shared at a stockholder’s meeting on screen was that managementhad no vested interest in the company.
Management, beware! People are no longer going for the norm. Know that you are one proxy vote mailer or quarterly earnings report from being ceremoniously dismissed. CEO, COO and uh-oh go together these days. Companies are no longer afraid to trim from the top. Today’s middle management and upper management are not securely in position like in the days of Carnegie, Ford and Mellon.
After the recent stock market dives and hedge fund scandals, most people are afraid of the words market and meltdown appearing in the same sentence anywhere near one another. Mention Madoff in some circles and find yourself standing alone with your cocktail in your hand and egg all over your face. The average Joe is no longer going to wait on his pension fund to tank or his 401(k) nest egg to burst like the market bubble.
Management and its bedfellows had better stay alert these days. The masses are expecting results. The investors have higher expectations these days. The public has higher expectations of corporate managers, too. Keep your eye out for the bold and brazen businessmen who sip brandy from goblets and snifters as they puff on imported Cuban cigars in exclusive clubs and brag about the mess that they made of a merger for the sake of corporate integrity. For the sake of corporate integrity? Imagine that. It seems to be more at the sacrifice of corporate integrity.