Newish AIG CEO Robert Benmosche reminds us of one of those salty old generals you see in war movies, the kind of guy that won’t take any guff, and who will stop at nothing when it comes to protecting his men. Earlier this summer, he promised employees he would purple-nurple the man who tried to have their names released to the public in the wake of the bonus scandal, and yesterday, after Special Master for Compensation Kenneth Feinberg revealed his plan to cut compensation of the 25 highest-paid executives at AIG and other companies rescued by TARP funds by 90 percent, Benmosche sent out a memo letting the team know not to take Feinberg’s threats too seriously, and that he wouldn’t come after them.
“It is important that all of you know that the Special Master’s jurisdiction is quite limited, and we expect Feinberg’s upcoming decisions on compensation to cover only the top 25 employees at AIG,” Benmosche said in an internal memo distributed around the company late on Wednesday.
He added that he’d been having “direct, near-daily discussions” with Feinberg, who after getting so up close and personal with Benmosche has apparently promised he wouldn’t try to claw back any pay from past bonuses, such as ones paid to kitchen staff. And if he tries? We imagine Benmosche will throw his big, pillowy body up against him and protect them with sheer might.