Stanley “Stan” O’Neal joined Merrill Lynch in 1986 and after various positions took he over as CEO and Chairman of Merrill Lynch in 2003. Net profit for each year he was CEO:
2003 – USD 3.8B
2004 – USD 4.4B
2005 – USD 5.2B
2006 – USD 7.5B
2007 – USD -7.8B (yes, that’s a rather large negative)
In the 4 years he ran ML he racked up USD 20.9B in net profit, which is very commendable. Then came 2007 and the year of the subprime. Stan blew a massive negative USD 16.7B hole in the balance sheet for write-down’s related to subprime loans. ML ended 2007 with a net loss of USD -7.8B.
Stan decided to exit ML after the subprime debacle. His compensation for 2007 was USD 161.5 million.