What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 26, 2009

Ex-Merrill CEO John Thain On That $1.2 Million Office Redecoration

From Talking Points Memo:
He hasn't been on The View yet, but the chair-throwing ex-Merrill CEO did the next best thing this afternoon, talking to Maria Bartiromo of CNBC about his departure last week from Bank of America, why he's not to blame for Merrill's multiple billion dollar losses, and the whether it was a good idea to spend $1.2 million of Merill's money redecorating his office suite.


And about that redecoration, Thain said it was a "very different economic environment." He added: "It is clear to me in today's world that it was a mistake. I apologize for spending that money on those things."

Asked by Bartiromo why he couldn't have left the office as it was when his predecessor as CEO, Stanley O'Neal, took off, Thain replied:

"His office was very different than the general decor of Merrill's offices. It would have been very difficult for me to use it in the form that it was in.
Exactly how different was the office before the redo? Bartiromo didn't ask, so we went looking on the google and finally came up with a photo of O'Neal's old digs:

I guess Thain had a point.

Video of the interview:


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