The fallout from the flap surrounding former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso’s compensation continued late last week with the resignation of NYSE board member H. Carl McCall.
McCall, the former New York State controller, had the supreme bad luck of having to defend the earlier actions of the NYSE’s compensation committee after he took over as its chair in June. This was after the committee had signed off on Grasso’s now legendary $139.5 million lump sum payment for deferred compensation.
In public, McCall supported the committee but in private he derided the package, especially after it came to light that Grasso had another $48 million coming to him. Before his resignation, Grasso had declined to accept the additional $48 million.
McCall had been a NYSE director since 1999 when he joined the board as a public representative in his role as controller. He continued on after an unsuccessful run for New York governor.
Madeline Albright, who joined the NYSE board in June, praised McCall’s accomplishments. "I am saddened to learn of Carl McCall's resignation from the New York Stock Exchange Board," Albright said in a statement. "He deserves credit for providing critical leadership that resulted in the appointment of John Reed as interim chairman and ensuring ongoing day-to-day operations of the exchange during a difficult time. I trust that he has made a decision that he feels is in the best interest of the New York Stock Exchange. I have known Carl McCall for many years and he has always conducted himself with dignity and purpose, as he has done today."
In his resignation letter, McCall said he was stepping aside to allow Reed to make necessary changes to the board’s structure — a structure that Reed has said is too large and unwieldy. McCall’s departure leaves the board with 26 directors, which far exceeds the 10 to 12 directors Reed finds more acceptable.
"My tenure with the New York Stock Exchange has been a singular experience, and a highlight of my professional life. It is a wonderful institution, and I am deeply impressed by the dedication and commitment of many of the people that I have come to know and respect," McCall said in his resignation letter to Reed, in which he also suggested additional reforms he believes the NYSE needs to consider.