John Alexander Thain (born May 26, 1955) was the last chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch before its distressed merger with Bank of America.
Thain was appointed as president of global banking, securities, and wealth management at the newly combined company, but he resigned on January 22, 2009 after a series of greed-related missteps caught the attention of the media. It was only after losses at Merrill Lynch proved to be far greater than Bank of America had estimated that Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, forced John Thain to resign his post.
Despite his $83.1 million salary, Thain aggressively pursued a controversial bonus of $10 million from the compensation committee at Merrill Lynch on that company's last day as an independent company.
Shortly before his resignation in 2008, the stroy broke that Thain spent $1.22 million in corporate funds to renovate two conference rooms, a reception area, and his office - including $131,000 for area rugs, a $68,000 antique credenza, guest chairs costing $87,000, a $35,000 commode, and a $1,400 wastebasket. Thain subsequently apologized for the obvious lapse in judgment (getting caught), and reimbursed the company in full for the costs of the renovation.
Thain accelerated approximately $4 billion in bonus payments to employees at Merrill just prior to the close of the deal with Bank of America. Speculation mounted that TARP funds were used for the bonus payments ... but due to horrifically lax oversight, there is no paper trail to prove the obvious.
Thain is currently unemployed and living very well off stolen money. He may be facing a class-action law suit for concealing a $15 billion hole in Merrill balance sheet until government subsidized the sale of Merrill Lynch.
1) $2,700 for six wall sconces.
2) $5,000 for a mirror in his private dining room.
3) $11,000 for fabric for a "Roman Shade.”
4) $13,000 for a chandelier in the private dining room.
5) $15,000 for a sofa.
6) $16,000 for a "custom coffee table.”
7) $18,000 for a “George IV Desk.”
8) $25,000 for a "mahogany pedestal table.”
9) $28,000 for four pairs of curtains.
10) $35,000 for something called a "commode on legs.”
11) $37,000 for six chairs in his private dining room.
12) $68,000 for a "19th Century Credenza" in his office.
13) $87,000 for a pair of guest chairs.
14) $87,000 for an area rug in Thain's conference room and another area rug for $44,000.
15) $230,000 to his driver for one year’s work.
16) $800,000 to hire celebrity designer Michael Smith.