Pru’s top man drops second job
Published 19/03/2010 | 10:15
Well let's at least say this about at Tidjane Thiam, the new chief executive of insurer Prudential: he is sensible enough to listen to constructive criticism.
Plenty of chief execs would have tried to tough out the row Mr Thiam ran into this week when French bank Societe Generale announced it wanted him as a non-executive director. Instead, Mr Thiam said yesterday that he would not accept the job after all. Quite right, too. Pru's boss has been in the job for only six months and has just agreed to buy AIA, the Asian assets of AIG, a deal that will transform his company and require shareholders to support a record-breaking rights issue.
Not all of those shareholders are yet on board with Mr Thiam's vision and were not impressed to hear that their chief executive was planning to take time out of the office to earn a £31,000 non-exec fee elsewhere.
This episode represents an error of judgement on Mr Thiam's part but let's hope the new man at the Pru now proves the deal was not another one.