We have long harbored the notion that Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld has a soft side. That he was misunderstood. Sure, he may have gotten into a fight with a hockey dad, and sure, he fired his best friend, who then had to sell his Hamptons house, and okay, he might have technically been responsible for sending a storied investment firm into bankruptcy, causing the loss of thousands of jobs and decimating the American economy and ultimately possibly setting off a worldwide recession. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings. His squash instructor said he was a special guy! Which is why we imagine he was terribly hurt by the following beautifully descriptive but distinctly Schadenfreude-ish paragraph on The Wall Street Journal's Website this afternoon about how Fuld has now been "banished" to Lehman's lesser building at 1271 Seventh Avenue.
Now 745 Seventh Avenue, festooned in cerulean blue, is the center of operations for the investment bank of Barclays PLC, and there is no room in the new order for Mr. Fuld. The move means that Fuld will no longer hold the corner office at Lehman. On Monday, he and other senior Lehman executives who were not offered jobs by Barclays are officially leaving the 31st floor of Lehman’s headquarters and moving to the 45th floor of 1271. 1271, located in the Time & Life Building, is also the headquarters of Fortune Magazine, which should make Mr. Fuld a daily sitting duck for any intrepid reporters.
From swaggering "gorilla" to sitting duck, in less than a year. These are the lessons of the animal kingdom.