Choosing a poster boy for web excess is tough, given the stiff competition, but George Shaheen brings outsize credentials to the contest. He left a big job as president of the company formerly known as Andersen Consulting to run one of the richest and most arrogant Internet startups: Webvan Group. The magnitude of the task at hand (remaking the gargantuan grocery business), of his potential payout (nine digits worth of options) and of the eventual operational failure (Webvan filed for bankruptcy in early July) were truly Olympian. But the icing on the cake, the (dis)grace note that puts Shaheen over the top of our raspberry pie, was the escape hatch he built for himself: While his former employees looked for work and his shareholders lined their birdcages with Webvan stock certificates, Shaheen parachuted from the company with a guaranteed $375,000 per year — for life. How the bankrupt company will honor that agreement is not known.
Choosing a poster boy for web excess is tough, given the stiff competition, but George Shaheen brings outsize credentials to the contest.