The Inbox - First Day of Summer Edition

| Jason M. Knott

"Suits Hanging"

You’re gonna be interested in this week’s Suits by Suits news – I guarantee it:

  • Wednesday’s controversial dismissal of George Zimmer, Men’s Wearhouse pitchman and founder, sent reporters into a tizzy as they competed to come up with the best lead.  Tiffany Hsu of the LA Times is the early leader in the clubhouse, starting her article with “The one thing George Zimmer couldn't guarantee was his job at Men's Wearhouse.”  Other candidates: Gary Strauss of USA Today (“Men's Wearhouse no longer likes the way George Zimmer looks.”) and  Michael Smith of the Deseret News (“He's not going to like the way this looks. I guarantee it.”).
  • The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation offered this interesting take on whether attorneys can be Dodd-Frank whistleblowers, from Lawrence West of Latham & Watkins.  The main point: the SEC accepts that attorneys can blow the whistle and disclose client confidences in some limited circumstances, although state ethics rules about maintaining those confidences also will come into play.
  • Joe Davidson of the Washington Post covered the whistleblower implications of Edward Snowden’s disclosures about NSA surveillance programs.  Davidson explained that national security contractors are missing the protections and normal reporting channels that are present for most federal employees who want to blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse.  Of course, even those channels don’t permit a whistleblower to take classified info to the press, wrote Pete Williams of NBC News.
  • In other whistleblower news, Brian Pardo, CEO of Life Partners Holdings, Inc., reported that he has filed a complaint with the SEC against people he suspects of short-selling his parent company’s stock.  Pardo is looking to claim a Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty for his company.
  • Best Buy shareholders overwhelmingly approved the company’s executive compensation practices, despite opposition from a major proxy firm, wrote Thomas Lee of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended a no vote on the compensation package because Best Buy awarded its CEO Hubert Joly $20 million in stock and cash compensation when he joined the firm.  That kind of cash will buy a lot of extended warranties.
  • Do you like lower CEO pay?  If so, time to pick up some organic berries at Whole Foods.  In a Fortune video conversation between Walter Robb and Geoff Colvin, Robb describes how the company caps its executive pay at 19 times the average employee’s salary.