Bro-Hugging Richard Fuld

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Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

In the waning days of Lehman Brothers, few underlings dared to penetrate the cave of its chief executive, Richard "the Gorilla" Fuld, for fear that they might be incinerated by the notoriously cranky CEO's blistering anger. Also, they were pretty much hating his guts for failing to make a deal that would save the firm from bankruptcy. Except for one man: Lehman managing director Kevin White. In October 2008, White made an appointment to see Fuld. He told him about how he planned to start his own firm, and offered Fuld something that surprised him: a thank-you. "I thank you because I believed in a lot of the things that were your core values in the discipline of this company," he told the CEO. And then, something magical happened.


It was time for White to leave. Fuld stood up and came around to the other side of his desk to shake White's hand. He put his hand out, then pulled it back. "Nah, fuck that," he said. "Give me a hug. I need a hug." Before White knew it, Fuld, the man whose gruff, brutish manner had given him the nickname "the Gorilla," was embracing him. Then, White said, Fuld started crying. "Kevin, you're the first person to say thank-you to me."

When his cheeks were dry, White asked Fuld if he'd be joining Barclays. "Fuck that," Fuld said. "I'm not going to Barclays. Fuck that." Yeah, those Brits are queers.

Dick Fuld in exile [Fortune]
Related: What It Feels Like to Hug Richard Fuld