Is American Banker safe with picking a banker of the year?
Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times writes for Monday’s paper about how risky it is for American Banker to pick a Banker of the Year in a year when so many banks have struggled. It picked Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis.
Clifford writes, “Richard Melville of American Banker said editors there felt they had to laud someone this year.
“‘We never thought twice about it,’ said Mr. Melville, editorial director for the banking publications of SourceMedia, which owns American Banker. ‘We cover banking. We donâ€™t stop covering banking during a bad cycle.’
“But the discussions this year were more complicated than usual. ‘In most years, by the time July, August rolls around, you have a sense for what you think,’ he said. ‘This year was not a year where you can sit there and say with any great level of confidence that you understood the present. The present was changing very quickly.’
“Corporate executivesâ€™ fortunes can fall quickly, as many an embarrassed business editor knows.
“For example, in 2001, Fortune put Enron on its most admired companies list, and Business Week put Tyco International at the top of its best performers list. Worth magazine placed Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, at No. 2 and L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco, at No. 10 on its list of Americaâ€™s best chief executives.”
Read more here.