Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bank's CEO Search Skids Amid Toilet-Paper Flap

by Anil Whipple, TYDN Bailout Affairs Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- (TYDN) Bank of America Corp. suffered a setback in its 10-week search for a chief executive after talks with the leading outside candidate ended over a dispute concerning toilet-paper thickness, forcing the board to reconsider two internal contenders, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Robert Kelly, the CEO of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., had jumped ahead of two top BofA executives to become the leading candidate to succeed Kenneth Lewis, who is set to retire at year's end, people familiar with the matter told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

But even after BofA paid back the government's $45 billion bailout, in part to free it from pay limits so it could attract a top-notch CEO, the bank's board and Mr. Kelly couldn't reach a deal on how thick the toilet paper should be in the bank's Charlotte, North Carolina executive suite. Mr. Kelly had asked for a paltry pay package of about $20 million annually, but also demanded hefty 6-ply toilet paper, people with direct knowledge of the negotiations told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

"The board was OK with the $20 million a year but decided 5-ply toilet paper was the limit so discussions with Mr. Kelly have ended," at least three sources with direct knowledge of the deal told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "A gold-plated toilet was one thing. But 6-ply, that shocks the conscience."

Economists said it was the first time in recent memory a major U.S. company exercised outstanding corporate governance practices to curtail waste and protect its assets.

Shares of BofA soared in extended trading on the New York Stock Exchange. President Obama immediately praised the banking concern.

"I've been bashing bankers for months and this act of corporate responsibility wipes the slate clean," Obama said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

A White House spokesman declined to confirm or deny reports that the Oval Office is stocked with 7-ply.

Meanwhile, following Mr. Kelly's decision to withdraw from consideration, BofA directors may tap either Chief Risk Officer Gregory Curl or Brian Moynihan, president of consumer and small business banking, people familiar with the matter told TheYellowDailyNews.

Sources said these candidates were willing to accept a board-mandated 5-ply tissue limit so long as their compensation package included a "personal hygienic" bathroom assistant. The $20 million annually salary deal would also provide an exit package of $25 million no matter how well BofA or its stock performs.

Environmentalists hailed the proposal, saying 5-ply toilet tissue "is the greener route to go."

PhotoThe Consumerist

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sales of Golf Club Woods' Wife Used Soar

by Duff Green, TYDN Golf Affairs Writer
BEAVERTON, Ore. – (TYDN) Sales of Nike golf clubs like the one Tiger Woods' wife used to beat him silly are soaring just in time for the holiday season, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The sales boost came days after Woods' wife, model Elin Nordegren, pounded him and his vehicle with a Nike Victory series iron after a tabloid reported the golfing sensation may have been cheating on his trophy wife, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Florida sources close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was a 5-iron, the club for "long and low line drives of about 180 yards."

The New York Times reported a 6-iron while USA Today, citing "sources familiar with the investigation," said the club was a putter. The Associated Press, meanwhile, quoting at least four sources "with direct knowledge of the incident," said Nordegren wielded a Callaway Golf Co. iron, sending Nike into a public-relations frenzy.

Phil Knight, Nike's chairman, responded in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that a Nike iron was indeed the culprit.

"Yes, Nordegren smacked Woods upside the head with one of our clubs," Knight said. "Any other brand of club would have killed him. Our clubs would never do that. They're unique."

Knight's confirmation lifted Nike's shares higher on the New York Stock Exchange.

A Florida Highway Patrol source said the agency is declining to file charges against the model.

"That's a privilege to get beaten by someone who looks like that," the source told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "Christ sakes, she's not Elena Bobbit."

Meanwhile, Nike said the entire Woods Victory line has been selling like hotcakes since the Friday melee as wives stock up on the clubs for their husbands' Christmas gifts.

At least three Nike sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told TheYellowDailyNews that many of the wives buying the clubs have nicknamed them "reminder clubs."

"These woman," the Nike source said, "say the clubs are about their love for their mate and a 'reminder' of sorts for their husbands of what they've got coming if they stray."