Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Meg Whitman- Now Chelsea Clinton

Recently we had the spectacle of HP reaching out to one of its own board members, Meg Whitman, to make her the company's new CEO. I wrote in that post,

"Here's what struck me this morning.

How frustrating must it be for the millions of unemployed, formerly middle- and/or senior-managers in America who can't get replies to inquiries, or interviews, or jobs, because those hiring consider them unqualified or insufficiently qualified.

Now they see Meg Whitman, who has never run a hardware or software company, simply given the job of CEO of a large one which does both."

Now I learn in this morning's Wall Street Journal that former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton has been, at age 31, named to the board of Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive.

The article discloses that,

"Ms. Clinton doesn't have much experience with public companies, though she worked in her 20s at consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and hedge fund Avenue Capital. She is pursuing a doctorate at Oxford University as well as working at New York University, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative."

You can't blame Ms. Clinton for being showered with all those opportunities. She was simply born into the role, rather like the child of a reigning king or queen.

By the way, this isn't some ceremonial post. It comes with a $50K annual retainer and a grant of $250K of restricted IAC stock.
But doesn't this make you question Diller's judgement? If you are a shareholder of IAC, don't you wonder if Diller has any sense of responsible corporate governance?

We're not talking about a 31 year old who has won a Nobel Prize, or filed several key patents for a notable invention. Or won a Pulitzer, or, to my knowledge, done anything remarkable to merit being given a say in the oversight and direction of a media company.

Again, there must be thousands of young, unemployed college and advanced program graduates looking at this appointment with a sense of angst.

But the truth is, life's unfair. Luck plays a huge role in the lives of many people, and it's totally uncontrollable.

Still, you'd like to think there would be some credible basis on which a largely unaccomplished young woman is given a board seat at IAC. Not just because of whose daughter she happens to be.

This sort of thing is what gives the left ammunition for its class warfare, including pushing for higher tax rates on "the rich." And seeing this story concerning Chelsea Clinton, it becomes harder to disagree with some of their contentions that the rich are different and often don't earn what they are given.

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