When Joe Plumeri came to the USCC to visit in 1998, when he was being given a tour of the facility, he pointed to one of the many banners hanging from the ceiling in the CitiPhone area.
It read “Service is our Product. Sales, the Result!”
He looked at it & said, “I created that slogan about 5, 6 years ago myself! And that damned store, Successtories, keeps trying to steal my own idea from me!”
I paused for a second (as he was surrounded by his henchmen & all the USCC Senior Directors), then figured, “What the hell, heh?”
“Er, Mr. Plumeri, I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. You see that is the banner that I personally created.
“In fact, I composed that exact slogan back in the Brooklyn/Staten Island Region in NY as the theme for our back-office organization.
“I did it when I was a Management Associate…back in 1979!”
*pause for dramatic effect*
Of course, he glared at me & his nostrils flared.
The other Senior Directors just stood there in disbelief, not believing that I had the balls (Was stupid enough?) to actually call him out in front of everybody.
Then they shot me the evil looks of destruction, trying to burn a hole right through my head with their Super X-ray vision.
I simply stood there gloating, knowing I’d taken down the heavyweight champion of the universe with a single blow.
They quickly hustled Plumeri to another area of the building.
I got some very pointed feedback from a couple of the senior managers, but I merely replied, “I’m sorry, but he was lying. I’m not gonna have someone take credit for something that I myself did.”
He did some crazy stuff while in charge of the U.S. Citibanking!
Fired a long-time Branch President in midtown Manhattan because Plumeri’s stupid son had to wait on line during the lunch time rush hour. Our Chairman John Reed reinstated the manager.
He once forced the 4 Regional Managers in NY to declare that they owed all their success to him.
One lady refused. He tried to fire her.
She sued the bank & settled for a $400K payout.
He once actually punched a reporter from the banking industry newspaper, The American Banker!
He was a nut case & was eventually removed…though Sandy Weill allowed him to keep an office in our HQ @ 399 Park Ave as Sandy brought him along when Citi merged with Travelers in 1997.
Oh, I got stories…