Will NAB chairman Charles Allen follow CEO Frank Cicutto out the door?
History suggests he will and history was proven right with Graham
Kraehe ascending to the chair on February 16.

A spindoctor who once worked for a crisis-ridden major company writes:

“Crikey,
you might want to do a bit of a quick research to find out the major
companies which either change their CEO or Chairman in ‘crisis’
situations. You will find that when one goes, the other goes quickly
after – regardless of the order.”

This is a very
interesting tip so we’ve done the research and discovered it is
absolutely true. NAB chairman Charles Allen was clearly living on
borrowed time and his resignation demonstrates that history once again
gave a good guide to what happened. This is the full list of troubled
companies that have lost their two top leaders in close succession.

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Westpac:
chairman Sir Eric Neal and four other directors quit on September 30,
1992, and CEO Frank Conroy quit after 15 months as CEO on December 17,
1992, in response to the bank’s record $1.6 billion loss. Therefore,
both went within three months.

ANZ: The early retirement of
chairman Milton Bridgland and CEO Will Bailey was announced on April 9,
1992 with Bridgland replaced by John Gough in July and Bailey replaced
by Don Mercer around the same time after being named successor on May
28, 1992. In November 1992 ANZ announced a record $600 million loss and
both chairman and CEO had gone in the previous four months.

TNT:
Sir Peter Abeles quit as CEO on September 27, 1992 and then, along with
four other directors, finally quit the board altogether on August 29,
1993.

BHP: CEO John Prescott was finally sacked on March 4,
1998 and chairman Jerry Ellis announced his early retirement on August
3, 1998 although he wasn’t replaced by Don Argus until early in 1999.

ORICA: DonMercer
replaced Ben Lochtenberg as chairman on May 2, 2001 and Phil Weickhardt
was ousted as CEO on July 5, 2001. Malcolm Broomhead was announced as
new CEO on August 23, 2001. Chairman and CEO were both gone within two
months.

AMP: Chairman Ian Burgess and four other directors
resigned on March 3, 2000 and they’d earlier dumped CEO George Trumbull
on July 26, 1999 and instantly replaced him with Paul Batchelor.

PMP:
Graham Reaney replaced James Donnelley as chairman on October 17, 2002
and Bob Muscat’s non-renewal of contract was announced on December 20,
2002. David Kirk replaced him as CEO at the end of February so both
positions changed in four months.

David Jones: Mark McInnes
replaced Peter Wilkinson as CEO on January 31, 2003, and Chairman Dick
Warburton was replaced by Robert Savage on July 17, 2003 so both
position changed within six months.

Lend Lease: Greg
Clarke replaced David Higgins as CEO on December 9, 2002 and Jill Ker
Conway was replaced by David Crawford as chairman on May 29, 2003.
Chairman and CEO gone within six months.

AMP: Paul
Batchelor was sacked as CEO on September 24, 2002 and chairman Stan
Wallis resigned on February 25, 2003 so both were gone within five
months.

Aristocrat: CEO Des Randall was sacked on April 8,
2003, and chairman John Ducker stood down five months later on
September 15, 2003, but stayed on the board to qualify for a
bigger retirement benefit.

Southcorp: Rick Allert resigned
as chairman after 19 years on October 31, 2003 and Keith Lambert was
sacked as CEO on February 3 2003, so both were gone in less than four
months.

NAB: Frank Cicutto resigned as CEO on February 2
and exactly two weeks later chairman Charles Allen followed him out the
door. This was the fastest corporate coup and, interestingly, in both
case a replacement was announced straight away.

CRIKEY: The
only think that might save Charles Allen is that he wasn’t chairman
during the Homeside fiasco, whereas Frank Cicutto was directly
responsible for running NAB as Homeside blew up $4 billion.

However,
we’re very confident that NAB’s second longest serving director,
Catherine Walter, will be gone within weeks as she chaired the audit
committee right through the Homeside fiasco. We’re hearing that she’s
under extreme pressure to resign.

Finally, can you believe
that spindoctor Ian Smith (Natasha’s better half) has written a column
for The Oz today arguing that Cicutto shouldn’t have walked the plank?
Cicutto’s various troubles and his crazy ambitions to buy AMP were a
big drag on the NAB share price. You can’t look at the forex losses in
isolation because Cicutto should have gone after Homeside. The goose
also wanted to offer $21 a share for AMP four years back.

Crikey
believes Charles Allen should go because he was the chairman who
decided to reappoint Cicutto for another three years when he was
clearly not performing well. He’s also the longest serving and oldest
NAB director and appears to have little concept of boardroom
accountability.