News/Campaigns/Corporate Governance

News/Campaigns/Corporate Governance

Chrysler completes new board of directors

Chrysler appointed eight new members to its board of directors today, rounding out the group that will oversee Chrylser as it tries to move out of bankruptcy.

The eight new members--who will join Chairman Robert Skidder--include:

-Alfredo Altavilla, CEO of Fiat Powertrain Technologies
-James Blanchard, former U.S. Congressman and Governor of Michigan
-George F.J. Gosbee, Chairman, CEO and President of Tristone Capital Inc
-Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A
-Douglas Steenland, former CEO of Northwest Airlines
-Scott Stuart, a founding partner of Sageview Capital LLC
-Ronald L. Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA)
-Stephen Wolf, Chairman of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

The Treasury Department released a statement praising the new board.

"With today's announcement of the final appointments to Chrysler's Board of Directors, the nine member board is complete, and Chrysler is positioned to move toward a viable future," the statement reads. "The new board hosts a wide range of experience in global corporate leadership, which we are confident will help drive the innovation, discipline, and adaptability needed for long-term viability."

Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison

Convicted financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

A federal judge in New York sided with prosecutors in the case, giving Madoff the maximum possible sentence in the case.

The sentence virtually guarantees that the 71-year-old Madoff will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Madoff pled guilty to running a $64 billion fraud in March, stealing billions from prominent individuals who'd invested in his fund.

Judges also ruled recently that Madoff's remaining assets would be sold off to benefit those he defrauded, though that amount pales in comparison to the billions he lost.

Ed Gillespie launches new consulting group

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman and Bush administration adviser Ed Gillespie will launch a new consulting group after announcing last week he wouldn't return to his former namesake firm.

The longtime Republican official announced Monday that he's founded Ed Gillespie Strategies, which will focus on strategic planning, message development and communications strategy, hearing and interview preparation, crisis and reputation management, and coalition organization and oversight.

Gillespie had founded Quinn Gillespie and Associates (QGA) after having left the RNC, but divested and left the group after having taken a position in the Bush administration. During its heyday, QGA enjoyed a bustling practice, which has taken a hit since Democrats have taken over Congress and the White House.

The website for Ed Gillespie Strategies is now available online.

Gephardt joins Ford's board

Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt has joined the board of the Ford Motor Company amidst a period of struggle for the automobile production industry.

Gephardt, a longtime Missouri congressman and two-time presidential candidate, joined Ford's board on Wednesday, effective immediately, the company announced in a statement.

Also chairman of his own consulting group, Gephardt is joining up with the only of the Big 3 to have not yet requested assistance from the federal government -- unlike competitors General Motors and Chrysler. Though should Ford seek assistance, they would have a powerful voice in Gephardt to reach out to former colleagues to support a Ford bailout.


NFL hires its first in-house lobbyist

The National Football League (NFL) has hired a former Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust lawyer as a lobbyist based in Washington.

The NFL hired Jeff Miller, a former aide to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), to represent its interests in Congress, the AP reported. Miller is the NFL's first in-house lobbyist, whereas before, it had hired outside representation.

"The emphasis is to have a full-time person spending every waking moment thinking about how what Congress or the administration is doing is going to affect the NFL's business model," Miller said. "I had had opportunities in the past to leave the Hill and do other things, such as work at a law firm and lobby firm. But when the NFL calls, you can't turn that down."

Miller's work coincides with the launch of the NFL's new "Gridiron PAC," which has its first quarter fundraising numbers due soon.

"I agreed with those who told me that during these changing times in Washington, the league should have full-time representation there like so many other business and entertainment organizations that have issues on the Hill," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the AP.

Bank Draws Heat for Parties After Taking Feds' Money

Northern Trust bank is drawing scrutiny for having thrown parties in Los Angeles this past weekend, despite having received $1.6 billion in (unsolicited) assistance from the federal government.

According to the Hollywood gossip website, the Chicago-based bank sponsored a golf tournament this past weekend, performances by Sheryl Crown and Earth, Wind & Fire, and rented out rooms in pricey hotels for clients and employees.

Northern Trust participated in the Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program (CPP) voluntarily, helping meet the government's goal of gaining the participation of all major banks in the U.S., Northern Trust said in a statement.

"CPP funds are not allocated to operating expenses, including marketing, advertising, corporate sponsorship or charitable activities," the bank continued. "Unlike common shareholders, U.S. taxpayers are contractually assured a return on their investment."

The bank laid off four percent of its workforce this past December.