Was it really too much to ask? Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld fumed in his office. Was it really too much to ask that, at the end of the worst week of Fuld’s 39-year career at Lehman, when the firm he helmed was about to report their first loss since going public, the worst loss in its entire history, was it too much to ask that his employees not dress like freaking used-car salesmen? What were they doing? Dressing for the job they wanted? He — the CEO of the company! — did not let his attention to detail slip. He had continued through all the mess, all the terrible press, to keep up his regular visits to Alexandra to get his eyebrows groomed. But his staff was slipping. He would have to teach them a lesson. Make an example.
On Saturday, Joseph M. Gregory, Lehman’s president and chief operating officer, arrived at the office in an unfashionable green suit.
“What are you wearing?” Mr. Fuld bellowed.
Mr. Fuld then marched Mr. Gregory from office to office on the 31st floor to show off the outfit.
“It was an attempt to make people laugh,” a Lehman executive told the Times. Yeah. They laughed, all right. Felt good. Next, he’s going to go see Erin Callan about that nude lipstick…