The world of CEOs and boards has become an entitled insiders’ club—virtually free of accountability—and the abject failure of our corporate leaders to police themselves is costing Americans trillions and seriously undermining the strength of our economy. Whereas boards are supposed to act as watchdogs, guarding shareholders’ interests, they have become enabling lapdogs to CEOs, who are aided and abetted in their pursuit of outrageous pay and unfettered power by a bevy of supporting players, including compensation consultants who justify exorbitant pay packages and accountants and attorneys who see no evil.
Based on extensive original reporting and interviews with high-level insiders at a host of leading companies, John Gillespie and David Zweig—both Harvard MBAs with thirtyplus years of Fortune 100 experience—reveal the inner workings of this dysfunctional culture and the many methods CEOs and boards use to shut shareholders out, entrench themselves, and fight reforms with shareholders' own money. Money for Nothing is a vital exposé of how the game is played and a powerful call for change, laying out the specific reforms that are needed to fix the glaring dysfunctions that are imperiling the health of American business.
John Gillespie was an investment banker for eighteen years with Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Bear Stearns and was the CFO of a nationwide health care company with 24,000 employees. He is married to New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.
David Zweig has worked at Time Inc. and Dow Jones and co-founded Salon.com. He was most recently senior editor of the WorldBusinessAcademy, an international research and education institute dedicated to promoting responsibility in business. He currently consults on improving the performance of executive groups.
“The authors offer a valuable new perspective by focusing on the tragicomic miscues of the people who were ostensibly meant to ‘govern’ out-of-control managements…”
—The New York Times
“…rich with unfortunate detail… the subject is truly anger-inducing, and rest assured Money for Nothing will make you angry (or reinforce your existing anger) about the current state of corporate governance.” — Business Ethics