Crash of the Titans

Broadcom and E*Trade both lost their CEOs this week. In the case of Broadcom’s Henry Nicholas, personal reasons (trying to save his marriage) were the immediate motivation, but the company’s rocky performance must have been a factor. First it was the imperial CEOs who engaged in financial shenanigans or criminal arrogance (Joe Nacchio, Jean-Marie Messier), now it’s the ones who are symbols of the bygone era of irrational exuberance.