Talk about about running and hiding....
Citigroup (C) CEO Chuck Prince canceled his Sunday speech at the U.S.-Japan Business Conference, a conference official said on Friday. A spokesman for the Conference said Prince had canceled his appearance because he was busy preparing for the company's new listing of its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that begins on Monday. Prince had been scheduled to address the annual meeting of the group in Washington on Sunday evening for some time and the Tokyo listing has been schedule for almost as long. Citi's Nicholas Calio, a senior vice president and chief global public affairs officer, will address the group in place of Prince.
Not for nothing but with the events of the past few days, not only is this NOT the time to cancel an appearance that has been in the works for a long time but all things considered, this would have been the PERFECT time to make the speech and put shareholder fears to rest. Now shareholders fears are being stoked to higher levels.
I think we all know that at this point Prince's role preparing for the Monday listing is done. So with that, it now leads us to guess the real reason.
- Is he afraid to take the heat?
- Did the board tell him to lay low?
- Is there validity to the dividend cut rumors that he does not want to publicly deny in a Sarbanes society?
- Is he on the way out and since anything he will say will eventually be meaningless anyway there is just no point?
- Are there additional write-downs coming that he does not want to answer questions about?
- Are things looking better and he just has nothing to add to his previous statements?
Who knows? We do know this though, if you cancel a previously announced engagement two days before it happens when your company is under siege and you give a BS explanation for it, the only thing that will happen is the guessing games will begin and nothing positive will be assumed.
Unfortunately this type of thing has been indicative of Prince's reign and ultimately will be his undoing....