Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Nardelli Paid Cerberus $50m to Become CEO

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
wild ass rumor of the day nardelli paid cerberus 50m to become ceo

This one is driving me nuts. I’ve heard this from three sources now. Good sources. Independent sources. Sources that will never talk to me again if I name them. Even discounting their tips, the story makes perfect sense. It’s common knowledge that ex-Home Depot Chairman Bob Nardelli actively campaigned for Chrysler’s top job. Up until the weekend of August 2, 2007, there wasn’t a single journalist who didn’t think Wolfgang Bernhard was going to get the job, with Chrysler veteran (and author of the Daimler-commissioned turnaround plan) Tom LaSorda as his underling. And then… Bob Nardelli. Who? Nardelli was a complete industry outsider (he owned a Plymouth Prowler for God’s sake). Why the sudden change of plan? Could it be that Nardelli put his own money on the line? Motive: resurrection of his tarnished rep. Means: the exec drifted out of Home Depot on a $210m golden parachute. Opportunity: Cerberus considered industry players inherently suspicious. And what do we make of Nardelli’s testimony to Congress that he doesn’t draw a penny in salary? OK, so I called Chrysler for confirmation. Within ten minutes Nardelli’s personal PR person returned my ping and categorically denied this report. So are you saying that Mr. Nardelli didn’t put ANY money into Chrysler when Cerberus bought it from Daimler? Correct. So now you know. Or don’t.

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  • Reconman Reconman on Jan 30, 2009

    I trust that Nardellii/Cerberus will triple their "investment". This was all part of the plan. Brilliant.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 30, 2009
    If someone paid me $210M to not work, I’d damn well not work. Everyday. In my oceanside villa in Costa Rica.. My late Uncle Norman was a mortgage banker (this was before all the subprime nonsense) and while he wasn't fabulously wealthy he was worth about 8 figures when he died (that was after my aunt got half in their divorce). He could have driven any car he wanted and lived in a large home but he drove a late model Oldsmobile and lived in a one bedroom apartment. At his funeral, one of my cousins said that his dad treated money as a tool to help people start businesses. If someone paid me $210 million for anything, I'd be getting out my list of cool business ideas I've had but no capital to fund them. I mean, I can be as lazy and indolent as the next guy, but if I was independently wealthy I'd still find something productive to do. Besides, sitting on a beach has got to be the most boring thing in the world. Lie and fry? Nah, fire one up and do something interesting.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 30, 2009
    I am increasingly convinced the ultra ultra wealthy individuals and organizations are harmful to We The People. They are parasitically siphoning all the wealth off to the top, and running the rest of us into the ground. Parasites? I dunno about that. Going around town I see all sorts of philanthropies funded by very wealthy individuals. So tell us, how have you been run into the ground? Got a microwave and a color tv? You obviously have some kind of internet service. Got a cellphone? How about an iPod? Ever go to Starbucks? Got an HDTV? Upper middle class folks from the 1970s would look at your luxuries and be amazed that you claim to be deprived.

  • Windswords Windswords on Jan 30, 2009

    Nardelli is a terrorist. Just print out the pic here, draw a beard and a head dress. See? We found Bin Ladin! Or at least the Saudi Crown Prince.