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Cell Therapeutics CEO Should Resign: Opinion

Stocks in this article: CTIC

SEATTLE ( TheStreet) -- Dear Jim:

You want to sue me? Really?

During Friday afternoon's conference call, you said Cell Therapeutics (CTIC) was considering a lawsuit against my employer, TheStreet.com, and me because, "It is time we take action to stand up for retail shareholders across all such fronts, especially when misstatements are made with malicious intent or a reckless disregard for the truth."

Cell Therapeutics
Cell Therapeutics CEO Jim Bianco

Jim Bianco, if you really want to protect the interests of your shareholders, retail or otherwise, you should resign from your post as CEO of Cell Therapeutics immediately.

Seriously, Jim. Resign now. Leave and take your entire management team with you. Instruct your board of directors to appoint a caretaker executive as interim CEO whose primary task will be to sell off whatever assets the company has left. Use the proceeds to pay off the debt on Cell Therapeutics' balance sheet. If there's any money remaining, return it to shareholders as a small token compensation for the years of losses they've endured under your incompetent and wasteful reign as Cell Therapeutics' chief executive.

Listening to you suggest that you're safeguarding the financial interests of shareholders would be laughable if it weren't such a pathetic misrepresentation of the facts.

Since 2005, Cell Therapeutics' shares have lost 99.9% of their value.

I ran a screen for the worst performing biotech stocks over the past five years. Congratulations Jim, Cell Therapeutics is ranked No. 1. The only biotech firms that lost more value since 2005 than Cell Therapeutics are those that went belly up.

While shareholders have been wiped out, you've become a very wealthy man. You could say Cell Therapeutics is your personal ATM. It's a great system (for you), shareholders make the deposits and you make the withdrawals.

Since 2005, you've collected well more than $20 million in total compensation, which includes salary, bonuses, stock awards and perks like private jet travel, "personal protective services" for you and your family and health club membership dues. (You can't pay for your own gym membership?)

In 2009, you earned $12 million in total compensation. The top five executives of your management team earned $32 million in total compensation. Cell Therapeutics reported an operating loss of more than $81 million. Meantime, under your direction, Cell Therapeutics' total share count has now ballooned to almost 700 million, if it's not past that already.

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