Though he did take a “part-time leave of absence,” presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romeny did not, as he’s claimed, fully relinquish control of the private equity firm Bain Capital in 1999 because he was using his position as sole shareholder and CEO to negotiate a lucrative severance package, the details of which are still unknown due to Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns.
That preliminary information comes by way of The Boston Globe, which in its second swing at Romney’s business record finds that the former Massachusetts Governor in fact wanted to have it both ways.
While Romney was organizing the Salt Lake City Olympics, he set up a management committee to run Bain for him, composed of five board members. Romney became head of that management committee. From this allegedly estranged post, he spent two years negotiating a lofty sum while Bain’s lawyers and accountants unwound Romney’s involvement in the company.
But during that time, Mitt Romney even referred to himself in public as CEO of Bain. Globe reporters Beth Healy and Michael Kranish found a press release issued by Bain alums Geoffrey S. Rehnert and Marc B.Wolpow (PDF), in which Romney was quoted as “Bain Capital CEO W. Mitt Romney, currently on a part-time leave of absence.”
The Globe also noted that to this day nobody has replaced Romney atop Bain, which is still run by the management committee he established.
In the years that followed, the company undertook several highly controversial projects that saw it outsource American jobs overseas and dismantle companies for profit and fire all the workers. The Obama campaign warned that if Romney was misrepresenting his role in the firm to government regulators or investors, he could face “severe consequences” for having committed a criminal offense.
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