Gas Week

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Mo doubt about it: CEO-with-Mo Index (CWM) slumps in recent weeks: moustachioed chief executives dwindling away

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

The slide in the CWM 100 Index began in earn­est when Macarthur Coal founder Ken Talbot, who has a Monash-style mo, departed as the com­pany’s chief executive in June. In late July, Downer EDI chief executive Stephen Gillies, who formerly sported a mo, resigned after the engineering con­cern unveiled yet another profit downgrade. It is unclear if Downer EDI’s troubles were in some way linked to Gillies shaving off his Burt Reynolds-style mo about five years ago. There has even been some instability in smaller companies with moustachioed chief executives, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, (22/9/2007, p.49).

Go with the mo: Oil and gas explorer Anzon last month confirmed it had received some takeover approaches, raising fears that yet another moustachioed chief execu­tive could be taken off the All Ords. Anzon’s head honcho, Steven Koroknay, has a Clouseau-style mo. SP AusNet meanwhile rejected suggestions its chief executive, Nino Ficca, was considering shav­ing off his Milano-style mo.

“There’s no plans for the mo to go”: Company spokeswoman Louisa Graham told Reflex. According to Scott Rochfort, fears weregrowing that the number of moustachioed chief executives at Aust­ralia’s top 100 listed companies is dwin­dling away. Adding to worries about the continuing credit crunch on the local sharemarket, the war in Iraq and global warming, the CEO-with-Mo Index (CWM) has slumped in recent weeks, partly thanks to signs Coles Group chief John Fletcher’s days are numbered. But some critics have long complained that Coles’s poor performance has been a drag on the CWM sector anyway. Fletcher, who sports a Tom Selleck-style mo, presented what appeared to be his last annual result for the troubled retailer this week and does not appear to have any new chief executive jobs lined up.

Oil Search boosts index: Out of left field, however, Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten, who has a Hapsburg-style mo, suddenly appears to be on shaky ground too. Botten has long championed the rights of facial-haired executives in the oil and gas sector. But speculation surfaced during the week that the China National Petroleum Corp, whose president does not have a moustache, was considering a takeover tilt at Oil Search.

Worries over a moustache-free ASX 100: The worries over a moustache-free ASX 100 have been compounded by speculation that Telstra boss Sol Trujillo, who has a Turpie-style mo, could hang up his riding boots next year. The Wyoming-born Trujillo, who played in his family’s mariachi band as a youngster, has long protested about Australian cartoonists depicting him as a gun-toting, sombrero-wearing Mexican bandido.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 22/9/2007, p. 49


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