After 180 days as Penney COO, Catherine West "was terminated involuntarily due to her failure to satisfy performance objectives" and was paid $10 million. The transition from the credit card business to the retailing world just wasn't a smooth one. But Ms West is not discouraged: "'Absolutely I would go into retail again,' she said. 'I'm captivated by it.'" What pluck!
You know, at first I wanted to be mean about this, to make some kind of sweeping generalization about executives, their sense of entitlement and the sorriness of people overall. Now I think Ms West might be a genius. She's actually figured out a way to get corporate America to fund her mid-life crisis. When most people want to pursue second careers, they accept that there will be a period of sacrifice. At the very least, they may have to put themselves on a budget while going back to school or getting training. But Catherine West is up $10 million and still looking. Fabulous!