I hate to get all “workers of the world unite”, but management seems to get away with a hell of a lot more than the rank and file. Take Prudential’s bid to take over AIG’s Asian arm. The bid failed and the whole exercise cost Prudential £377m (about $579.5m). Digest that figure for a second, then digest the next fact. The CEO, Tidjane Thiam, refuses to stand down over this mistake. Now consider this, if you, as a rank and file member, would cost the company you work for just 1 percent of that previous figure, could you honestly expect to keep your job? Now let’s look at the FIATsco incident. The whole affair cost GM $2b. Again, had you have cost the company you work for just 1 percent of that figure, could you keep you job? After writing this paragraph, I find the next story almost heartwarming.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kia Vice President, Chung Sung-Eun has resigned. The reason for his resignation was to take responsiblity for a series of recalls which Kia had to issue. Michael Choo, spokesperson for Kia, said that Chung Mong-Koo, CEO of Hyundai, which owns 39 percent of Kia, allowed Chung Sung-Eun to leave as he failed to ensure the quality of Kia vehicles. The recalls in question are 104,047 units of the Soul, Sorento, Borego and Cadenza cars.
The problem was faulty wiring. Business Week posits that resigning over 104,047 recalled cars is a bit harsh, but that’s the way the industry is going since the recalls of Toyota. “Jeong (Chung) resigning is a pre-emptive action, “said Chae Hee Guen, Korean analyst for Mertz Securities Co., “Quality is a top priority for Kia and Hyundai Motor Co. management. They don’t want to tarnish their image.” While this is admirable, are we going too far in the other direction?