If Bush were CEO, he'd be fired, says business executive
Michael Roston
Published: Thursday February 22, 2007
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Comparing the United States to a troubled private corporation, a business executive says in Salon this morning that if President Bush were the CEO of a private company, its board would send him packing.

Warren Hellman is the founder of Hellman & Friedman, a private equity investment firm, and was the youngest employee ever made a partner at Lehman Brothers. Noting that Bush is the first president with a master's degree in business administration, he writes in Salon that "if the United States were a company, it would be a troubled one," pointing to the Bush administration's shortcomings in managing the national budget, its poor warfighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other crises.

Hellman concentrates on six acts of commission or omission by the president that would be grounds for firing of the president were he chief executive officer of a company: failing to be fiscally responsible; making poor strategic decisions; poorly executing those decisions; choosing poor personnel; poor research and development for the future; and, failure to adhere to the institution's charters and bylaws.

For instance, the president appointed officials like FEMA chief Michael Brown, who failed to respond to Hurricane Katrina, and ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who came up short in managing the Iraq War. Meanwhile, other officials, like former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil and Secretary of State Colin Powell, left the administration. Of these developments, Hellman writes, "For the most part, he has chosen close advisors based on loyalty and similar ideology rather than competence, experience or expertise."

Looking at this record, Hellman concludes that "if Bush were the chief executive of a company, he would in all likelihood be given a good pension and quickly replaced." He asks Americans to think of themselves as stockholders, and writes that "it is our company; it is our country, and those we elect are our employees -- and are responsible to us. We cannot afford another failure as CEO."

The full article can be read on Salon's website after viewing an advertisement.


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