On October 10, 2001, two days after the hijacked jets were slammed into the World Trade Center, Howard Lutnick, the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, appeared on national TV, sobbing and pledging a trading bond that would support the families of over 700 victims of the company.
By presuming that their beloved ones were deceased, he infuriated numerous families by discontinuing the salaries of individuals who were unaccounted for the subsequent day. Subsequently, he declared his intention to cease the healthcare privileges of the casualties before the conclusion of September.
The finances will encompass the healthcare expenses of the families for the subsequent decade, with any remaining amount being evenly dispersed among the families in physical currency. Over the following five years, the corporation will allocate 25 percent of its earnings for their benefit. Presently, he informs Connie Chung of ABCNEWS that he is upholding his commitment to the families affected by the tragedy.
Lutnick expressed, “We will remain committed to these families for an extended period,” as he was absent from the office on the morning of September 11th due to accompanying his son on his first day of kindergarten. “There are no restrictions or boundaries. The greater our earnings, the more successful our company’s reconstruction can be. We will collectively partake in it.”
Lutnick stated, “By Thanksgiving, the organization will distribute all bonuses and commissions owed to the victims.” He mentioned, “If the organization’s profits were lower than anticipated throughout the five-year period, the organization would continue to make payments until every family had obtained a minimum of $100,000.”
Lutnick expressed, “It was a decision that encompassed everything. It was not solely a business decision or a personal decision, as it was the most challenging decision. Despite promising to take care of the families, he reduced salaries.”
He expressed, “In the event that we provided wages to 733 individuals who had departed, and solely had 300 individuals in the United States of America who remained, the organization would not endure in the foreseeable future.” Lutnick conveyed that he had two alternatives: a short-term option and a long-term option. “Three hundred individuals in the United States are unable to financially support the salaries of 700 of their acquaintances and colleagues and continue operating.”
Their family members were living, optimistic that their relatives were still persevering during a period when Lutnick terminated their partners’ incomes, but for certain widows, it was about more than finances.
Ann Wodenshek expressed, “I felt repulsed. At that moment, I couldn’t believe that he was no longer alive. He was absent … Without considering the fact that our spouses had passed away, they could offer us a minimum of two weeks to mourn.”
Susan Sliwack expressed, “Howard Lutnick is not the individual who will inform me about the demise of my spouse. That is not the manner in which I desire to discover this information, through television alongside the entire global population,” shared Susan, who is bereaved by the loss of her husband Robert and has the responsibility of caring for her three children.
As per Sliwack, Lutnick “never showed any kindness towards anyone in the company” and “was not well-liked by the firm.”
Some other widows proposed that Lutnick was attempting to elicit sympathy by crying on national television, or maybe trying to attract customers.
Lynda Scarcella-Fiori, whose spouse, an employee of Cantor, expressed, “He deserved to receive a remarkable accolade for his display on that particular day.”
Lutnick is aware of the criticisms widows face, but he said he does not hold anyone accountable for their harsh words because he knows they are in pain.
“He stated that he doesn’t blame anyone for the loss of a family member and mentioned that they would do anything to pass an absolute and got everything.”
‘Assertive, Driven, Merciless’.
Investigative reporter Tom Jaffe, who wrote about Lutnick for Forbes magazine, said he was not surprised by Lutnick’s response after the attack.
Jaffe, who reported on Lutnick’s acquisition of the company from his ailing mentor, Bernie Cantor, and his ensuing legal dispute with Cantor’s spouse over authority of the company, stated, “Lutnick is considered as assertive, driven, merciless, and ready to surpass or trample on anyone in order to obtain his desires.”
Whether Lutnick painted himself into a corner with his initial commitments or just required some time to resolve the particulars, the CEO is prepared to offer Kathy Faughnan, whose spouse was deceased, the opportunity to act appropriately.
Faughnan, who is currently raising three children by herself, expressed, “I simply wish for him to apply the same level of dedication to the company as he would for his own family, to the utmost capability of the organization.” “Because if that doesn’t happen, nobody benefits, and I wouldn’t desire the company to cease operations.”
Lutnick said, “I am just a person who lost my brother, and when you take away all the people whose shoulders the CEO stands on, I can exactly deliver and stay doing everything that I said.” Lutnick added, “I am grieving over the loss of my own brother in the attack.”
Authored by Rebecca Raphael, this article is written for ABCNEWS.Com.