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Warren Buffett Fires Benjamin Moore Paints CEO For Taking Island Vacay On Company Money

Warren buffett 2012 6 18

Warren Buffett gives off the impression of being the kindly old grandpa of the investment world, but even he drops the hammer on employees that mess up.

And, since Warren's firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is in the business of owning other companies that usually means the fired employees are execs and company bigwigs, which is exactly what recently happened with the CEO of Benjamin Moore Paints.

Here's what happened: Denis Abrams was the CEO for Benjamin Moore, which Warren's company acquired in 2000. The paint company hasn't been doing well since the housing market tanked, except for this last quarter when Denis was able to lead his team to the first sales increase since 2007. So, he decide to celebrate by taking himself and his fellow execs on a trip to Bermuda, paid for by Benjamin Moore.

Of course, it seems that Denis got the boost in sales numbers not by increasing the amount of paint sold, but by raising the price. He's also kept profits from slipping by laying off people and freezing pay for workers. So, you can kind of see how the trip, which included an island dinner cruise aboard a yacht, was a pretty bad move.

Supposedly, Warren has "bad cops" who specialize in firing execs -- and, that's who showed up at the New Jersey headquarters of Benjamin Moore and told Denis to pack his stuff. According to people who were there, the fired CEO kept asking what'd done wrong as they were escorting him out of the building.

Damn, Warren! That's cold.


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