Hubris Reaches New Highs

Last Updated Jun 9, 2008 4:23 PM EDT

It had seemed that hubristic executives were, like, so 1990s. Maybe not.

Consider high-flying executive Henry T. Nicholas III, former Broadcom Corp. CEO, who was already in trouble for allegedly backdating stock options. Now a federal court in Santa Ana, Calf., has unsealed indictments against Nicholas accusing him of myriad drug charges. Among them are that he spiked the drinks of others with MDMA (ecstasy) without their knowledge and hired prostitutes and escorts for himself and customers and associates of the Irvine, Calf. specialty chip maker.

That's pretty juicy stuff. But is it really big league? You be the judge, considering:

  1. Dennis Kozlowski, sentenced to at least eight years in prison for misappropriating Tyco International funds, blew a cool million for the 40th birthday party of his wife on Sardinia. The meeting, disguised as a shareholder confab to get the firm to pay for it, featured an ice sculpture Statue of David making water that turnout to be Stolichnaya vodka.
  2. Bernard John "Bernie" Ebbers, in prison for his WorldCom shenanigans, used company loans to expand his personal real estate empire that include a 500,000 acre ranch, the biggest, in Canada, minor league hockey team and trucking, timber, and livestock operations throughout the South.
  3. John "Jack" Welch, formerly of General Electric. Though never indicted or convicted of any crime, "Neutron" Jack got GE to provide an $80,000 a month apartment overlooking New York's Central Park, thousands of dollars with of wine each month and tickets and reservations at various sporting events and five star restaurants.
  4. One more accusation against Nicholas. According to court documents, Nicholas distributed controlled substances on a private plane flying from Orange County, Calf. to Las Vegas. The marijuana smoke was so thick, according to the indictment, that the pilot had to slip on an oxygen mask.
So what's your view? Who is the most hubristic?