The Plight of the Unemployed CEO: Underqualified for Management; Overqualified for Starbucks

By
John Thain waits online for a job at American Apparel. Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images

A number of former CEOs of failed major institutions, their reputations tarnished by the financial crisis, have found themselves in an unemployment line, holding résumés no one wants to look at and wondering what to do next. We can't say we don't find the situations faced by Wachovia's Robert Steel, Freddie Mac's David Moffett, and Merrill Lynch's John Thain to be entirely unsympathetic. Take Moffett:


David Moffett, who left Freddie Mac in March after six months as CEO as part of the government's rescue, is interested in the top jobs at BofA and Citi, according to a person familiar with his thinking. He is former finance chief at U.S. Bancorp.

One drawback is his limited experience in running vast businesses, said someone who has considered recruiting him.

In a way, the plight these guys face reminds us of the one many of our friends found themselves in in their mid-twenties: They're overqualified for most jobs, but no one's really willing to let them take the reins and run their own department. Here's our advice, Bob, John, and David. Stop fiddling with your résumés, settle down on the couch, and catch up with Days of Our Lives. You may never get to luxuriate in this kind of free time again.

Financials Post Sign of Times: CEO Wanted [WSJ]