This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Who Will Bob Nardelli Fail Next?

After Chrysler hired Nardelli, he famously cut his salary to $1 a year. Cerberus Capital, which is Chrysler's majority owner, told me Friday that Nardelli was not paid any other compensation while running the automaker.

The salary cut was an important sign to the public, especially with all of the attention paid to the health of the U.S. automakers and the backlash against excessive executive compensation. But Nardelli was billed to be the man who would turn Chrysler around, and he failed to do it.

"It's always a head-scratcher when you see someone with a high profile that has truly been unsuccessful in turning things around get another opportunity," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst with Jefferies.

Of course, Chrysler was damaged goods before Nardelli arrived. Still, it's hard to hear Nardelli say that, after bankruptcy, it is now the "appropriate time to let others take the lead in the transformation of Chrysler with Fiat." Apparently, he was good enough to drive the automaker into bankruptcy, but he can't tow it out.

Alan Mulally, Ford's (F - Get Report) current CEO, makes Nardelli's performance look even worse. After enjoying success at Boeing (BA - Get Report), Mulally took the reins at Ford at a time when market share was slipping and both losses and debt were mounting. While Nardelli enjoyed the shelter of working for a privately owned automaker, Mulally cut costs and revived the Taurus brand while facing scrutiny from shareholders.

Now, Ford is essentially the strongest U.S. automaker. Even General Motors (GM - Get Report) was in a worse predicament than Chrysler, and it still hasn't had to seek court protection.

Celebrity Status

For market analysts, Nardelli's consecutive losing turns could signal the end of an era where CEOs spend more time in front of a camera than behind closed doors.

"When you look at CEOs, we've gotten to the point where they've become stars," Hinsdale's Nolte said. "If you go back 30 years and try to name a corporate CEO, you wouldn't have had a clue. They did a lot of other things behind the scenes that weren't noteworthy or pressworthy. They've become more PR people now, I think, than true managers."
2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
BA $132.49 -1.13%
F $13.43 -1.40%
HD $134.54 -1.11%
GM $31.25 -1.57%
GE $30.63 -0.84%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs