Friday, February 09, 2007

Sweet Nothings

For the second day in a row, we're going to praise someone. This must not become a habit. Nothing worse than a happy blogger.

On Tuesday John Nano returned to his post as CEO and President of Competitive Technologies, Inc. (CTT). The company dumped him in June 2005 and to regain his position he had to wage a successful proxy battle and replace the entire board of directors. Gosh, if that’s what it takes to get a job these days it's going to take me longer than I thought.

Mr. Nano’s employment agreement appeared in an 8-K today. We think we like this Nano guy, and not just because he has such a cute name for a tech executive. Despite being in a pretty powerful place right now, he signed a contract (similar to his old one) that treats him less like a CEO and more like an OCE (Ordinary Corporate Employee) when it comes to grounds for firing.

So what's the magic contractual provision making us annoyingly cheerful today? To lose his severance package, Nano need not resort to embezzlement, moral turpitude or a life of crime. All it takes is “a material failure to carry out effectively Executives [sic] duties and obligations to the Company.”

That’s enough, folks, to make us jovial – a contract that lets a company kick a CEO out the door for poor performance and not make him rich in the process. Such a beautiful thing. OK, enough now. Future posts will be surly and mean-spirited.