Dick Parsons is a curious fellow. He fails at everything he tries and yet, those in power keep blessing him with opportunities. As The Daily Banter noted in an in depth 2012 piece, shareholders at Citigroup filed a lawsuit against the outgoing chairman for his corporate raiding. Parsons’ history is littered with these types of corporate failures and embarrassments, and yet, CNN reports that Parsons is set to lead the L.A. Clippers.
Parsons has a habit of leading companies right into the ground, then scampering away with golden parachutes for top executives. While at Citigroup, the Too-Big-to-Fail bank that got the largest bailout from the government, Parsons hooked up top executives with enormous payouts.
“He arranged a pay package for CEO Vikram Pandit amounting to $53 million despite the fact that Citi’s stock plummeted 44% last year, and has woefully underperformed other bank stocks even by their low standards,” wrote Mark Ames of the Banter.
And before Citigroup, there was Parsons’ failure at AOL Time Warner:
Parsons headed AOL Time Warner, where he helped pull off what is widely considered the single worst business deal in corporate American history: a fraud-rife merger that wiped out $200 billion in shareholder value, ruined employees, retirees and investors, sparked numerous criminal investigations and dozens of lawsuits, and yet somehow managed to enrich a tiny handful of executives—including Dick Parsons—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
And even prior to that, Parsons was chairman of Dime Savings, a firm guilty of mortgage fraud. In the 1980’s, the company falsified documents to allow unqualified borrowers to get loans.
The question then becomes, how can a man with so little by way of achievements still elicit so many lucrative job offers?
Parsons doesn’t even have a stellar academic record. He is a high school dropout who got his GED and enrolled at the University of Hawaii, then flunked out of college. Almost miraculously, Parsons’ life changed after he met Nelson Rockefeller. Parsons’ father had been a groundskeeper for the family and Parsons’ life began to blossom under the wealthy family’s influence. According to the Banter, Parsons admitted that the Rockefellers began hooking him up.
Somehow, the black slacker kid who dropped out of high school and flunked out of college got into Albany Law school and became the school’s valedictorian. Parsons also took the New York state bar exam and scored the highest in the state, surpassing even those of notoriously competitive Ivy League high achievers.
Somehow a lackluster student became brilliant, with some assistance from the Rockefellers, and now that same man, who has proven to be a failure as an executive, is headed to the Clippers. Isn’t it time to pump the breaks and ask why a man so unqualified is again being selected to lead? And what hand are the Rockefellers playing in Parsons’ corporate pillaging?