high wire act at Legg Mason [Profile
] as the first non "Mason" CEO is coming to an end. Newspapers jumped on the news but reporters mostly moved as a herd. A quick glance at the 177 stories archived by Google News shows
that newspaper editors like to use the company name followed by the verb "steps down."
Some of the only fresh coverage came courtesy of the folks at Dow Jones and the Barron's Blog
(the WSJ's paper coverage
focuses on Nelson Pelz.)
Turns out that Legg Mason CFO Peter Nachtwey
was speaking at the Barclays Global Financial Conference on his calendar yesterday and he kept to it.
reporter David Benoit gives the report:
Nachtwey didn’t run and hide from the news, addressing it off the top by saying the board and Fetting had decided it was time for a leadership change and that the focus for the company was on growth.
The very first questioner he faced asked for more details on the timing of the announcement. Nachtwey said the move was made without a successor in place so that Legg Mason could conduct the search in the open and not be subjected to rumors.
Nachtwey not only took the question, he provided a refreshingly direct answer:
This isn’t something that was being done just overnight or in reaction to anything urgent” Nachtwey said. “No bum’s rush whatsoever, Mark is still a valued partner, he is very active.”
He added that "we’ve been given absolute clear instructions all full speed ahead.”
MFWire covered the search for Fetting's replacement on Tuesday.
Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief
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