There hasn't been a more abortive return from retirement since Michael Schumacher decided that driving in Formula 1 can be a bit of a pain in the neck, but Robert Benmosche, the new chief executive of bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc has told Reuters that he's getting a lot of work done from his massive villa in Croatia.
In fact, the former head of MetLife says he agreed to come out of retirement one week earlier than planned, although anyone with their wits about them would have figured that this was simply to start work before he took his three week vacation in Croatia, so that the holiday would take place while he was employed. After all, his predecessor only lasted 11 months on his $1 a year contract, so with a contract for $3m in cash plus $4m in stocks and a bonus package that could be worth $3.5m, Mr Benmosche's service up to the end of his vacation would have earned him a pro-rata $600k for one week at the office.
Apparently it is not all sunshine and sand in Dubrovnik. Oh no, Mr Benmosche takes an average of 3 conference calls a day, which is not bad for a guy running a company that is trying to make disposals left, right and centre and which has been bailed out by the US government to the tune of $85 billion. And clearly he has the best interests of the US tax payer at heart:
"Some of us need to come out of retirement, who have done this before, to help deal with the crisis," says Mr Benmosche. "If I sit here, I just felt that there are going to be continuing problems. I felt I had some of the skills necessary to fix the problems of AIG in particular and it made sense to come back."
Or rather to disappear to his villa 5,000 miles away.