The AIG CEO who puts the C into rap music


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The Independent Culture

One only needs to compare their images to know that old white men with hair the same colour as their suits would do better than to imitate rappers. Which explains the cringeing now greeting a clip posted on the Mother Jones website.

In it, Robert Gifford, the chief executive of AIG Global Real Estate, lays down his office Christmas party speech to the tune of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind". (Jay-Z is the guy in the hat.)

"I was hanging out all comfy, at my crib in bed," he spits. "Now I have endless meetings with... the Fed." That's a reference to AIG's 2008 government bailout.

Even forgiving him that insensitivity (AIG has confirmed the party took place in 2010 – the video has only now emerged) Gifford places himself in a sorry hall of shame occupied by corporate types trying to be street and/or funny. Think Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer's deranged address in 2006 (real) or David Brent's dance (thankfully not real). A basic rule for bosses everywhere: if what you're doing requires loosening your tie, you probably shouldn't do it.