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Carroll School of Management

Boston College Citizens Seminar: April 23, 2008

sponsored by the chief executives' club of boston

Menino: HQ losses good for charity

Planners mapping the future of Greater Boston want to encourage people to live and work in suburban town centers, and cut pollution, water usage, and traffic to improve the quality of life over the next two decades.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino yesterday raised eyebrows when he told a crowd of downtown executives that Boston may actually be a better off after losing its signature headquarter companies.                      Mayor Thomas Menino

The acquisition of hometown giants Gillette and John Hancock by out-of-state firms has long been decried for both the job losses the deals triggered and the blow they delivered to the city's image.

But when it comes to community involvement and charitable efforts, both companies are now doing more than they were before they were acquired, the mayor said.  Menino, in his remarks, referred to both Gillette, now part of Procter & Gamble, and Hanoccok, now owned by Canadian insurer Manulife.  He later added the same could aslo be said of Bank of America, which took over the last major Boston-based bank, FleetBoston.

"I would tell you I am doing much better today than I was before the acquisition," he said.

Menino's musings about post-merger Boston, while provocative, were only one part of a wide ranging economic address to local executives at the Chief Executives' Club of Boston, a forum sponsored by Boston College. 

Menino said he is involved in discussions to bring a major financial services firm to Boston, one that could bring hundreds of jobs to South Boston's fast-growing waterfront.

Meanwhile, the mayor also said he would like Boston to take to the airwaves with ads to promote itself.

The new ad campaign, Meninio said yesterday, would be aimed at attracting companies from other regions to relocate and expand in Boston.

"We don't see Boston," Menino said.  "We are afraid to go out and sell our wares."

Article by Scott Van Voorhis, Boston Herald, Thursday, April 24, 2008

James J. Mongan (President & CEO, Partners HealthCare), William Swanson (Chairman & CEO, Raytheon Company), John DesPrez (President & CEO, John Hancock Financial Services), John Fish (President & CEO, Suffolk Construction, Joseph Campanelli (President & CEO, Sovereign Bank), David Barrett (President & CEO, Lahey Clinic), Ellen Zane (President & CEO, Tufts Medical Center), John Kaneb, The Hon. Margaret Marshall (Chief Justice, MA Supreme Judicial Court), John Murphy (Chairman, President & CEO, Oppenheimer Funds), Fr. William P. Leahy (President, Boston College) listen to the Mayor's remarks.

Members of the press crowd around Mayor Menino following his remarks.