Richard Fuld Jr. ‘Terminated’ by Lehman Without Bonus or Severance

At the New York Public Library benefit on Monday, Nov. 3, the Daily Transom spotted disgraced Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld Jr. and wife, Kathy, who were co-chairs for the evening, looking relatively cheery and social with the other guests. Now, an election and a few hangovers later, Bloomberg is reporting that Mr. Fuld  has been “terminated” without severance or bonus—and “without cause.”

Mr. Fuld, the now bankrupt company’s CEO since 1993 who earned a $34.4 million paycheck in 2007, will step down at the end of the year, a lawyer for Lehman told Bloomberg. According to a Harvard law professor, Lynn LoPucki, quoted in the piece, a departure bonus or a severance package for Mr. Fuld—besides being somewhat inappropriate—would be illegal under the U.S. bankruptcy law. Mr. Fuld, 62, will, however, remain as the chairman of the Lehman’s board of directors.

In Septemeber, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. Fuld were auctioning off 16 postwar drawings (including pieces by Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman) worth between $15 and $20 million at Christie’s. (Though they might have trouble getting their asking prices, if last night’s auction at Christie’s, at which several important works failed to sell and those that did sold for much less than estimated, is any indication.) The artworks were only a part of the Fulds’ extensive modern art collection, more of which might soon have to go to the auction houses if Mr. Fuld would like to remain on boards of organizations like the Robin Hood Foundation and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Or maybe the Fulds can take a closer look at their home in Greenwich, Conn.–the one with the indoor squash court, or the $21 million Park Avenue co-op, or their home in  Vermont, or the one in Sun Valley, Idaho, or the other one in Jupiter Island, Fla., for which Mr. Fuld paid $13.75 million in 2004 according to the Wall Street Journal. A few of those should make up for a severance package suited for the longest-serving CEO of Lehman.