Known as the "gorilla", Richard Severin Fuld, Jr. was reputed to be the "most feared man" on Wall Street. Fuld is an American banker and executive best known as the final Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Fuld had held this position since the firm's 1994 spinoff from American Express Company until 2008. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 on September 15, 2008, and subsequently announced a sale of major operations to parties including Barclays Bank and Nomura Securities.
On October 6, 2008, Fuld testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill regarding the causes and effects of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
During his congressional testimony, CNBC reported that Fuld was attacked and "knocked out cold" at the Lehman Brothers gym due to Lehman's declaration of bankruptcy. Representatives of Fuld denied the report.
In October 2008, Fuld was among twelve Lehman Brothers executives who received grand jury subpoenas in connection to three criminal investigations led by the U.S. attorney's offices in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York as well as the District of New Jersey, related to the securities fraud associated with the collapse of the firm.
On November 10, 2008 Fuld sold his Florida mansion to his wife Kathleen for $100; this may protect the house from potential legal actions against him. They had bought it only 4 years earlier for $13.56 Million. On March 17, 2009, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine commenced a lawsuit on behalf of the state of New Jersey against Fuld, several former Lehman Brothers executives and former members of Lehman Brothers' board of directors for fraud and misrepresentation. The suit seeks compensatory damages of $118 million in addition to punitive damages.
From the years 1993 to 2007, he is reported to have received nearly half a billion dollars in total compensation. In 2007, Fuld was reported to have earned a total of $22,030,534, which included a base salary of $750,000, a cash bonus of $4,250,000, and stock grants of $16,877,365. CNN named Fuld as one of the "Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse" of the 2008 financial collapse in the United States; he was placed at number 9 on the list.
In December 2008, Fuld was given the "Lex Overpaid CEO" and "thief" award of the Financial Times for having received $34m in 2007 and $40.5m in 2006, the last two years before his bank's failure.
CNBC named Fuld at the top of its list of "Worst American CEOs of All Time", stating he is "belligerent and unrepentant".