Full speed ahead!

November 8, 2006

frank.jpegBack in August, Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB) announced the departure of Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Dattilo who left to "pursue another opportunity". A few days later, it noted in the Q that it filed that Dattilo would receive severance "as if he were terminated involuntarily without cause", though they never really said how much that would be. Fast forward to the 3Q earnings that the company put out today, which disclosed — almost is passing — that the company’s operating results were "negatively impacted" by $5 million in severance costs for the former Chairman and CEO.

Which brings me to my second point. Perhaps now that Barney Frank is poised to take over as chair of the House Financial Services Committee, investors at Cooper Tire and countless other companies out there, won’t have to piece together three different filings to figure out how much their former top executive is getting on his (or her) way out the door. Frank has spoken extensively about executive compensation and this page summarizes some of those issues.

My own newly defeated Congresswoman, Sue Kelly, chaired the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations where she managed to ignore any number of issues including stock option back-dating and just about every other scandal. Last year, during a meeting hosted by the NASD, I had a chance to ask Kelly about stock options and was amazed at how little she knew, given her tenure on such a key committee. All she seemed to be able to say was "it’s a complicated issue" over and over again without ever saying what made the issue so complicated. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been moonlighting — if you can call volunteering moonlighting — over at take19 in my effort to make voters more aware of Kelly’s true record. It was a late night last night and I’m very tired this morning, but absolutely ecstatic over the results.

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