Heck of a Job Brownie, I mean, #NasdaqOMX

Finally, after nearly three weeks of observing this colossal PR blunder, Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq OMX, offered an apology to the financial industry. Perhaps some investors too, but that wasn’t really clear.

Nasdaq obviously bungled the IPO listing of Facebook on May 18th. But two days later said, “We definitely call it a success.” Some early introspection and an acknowledgement of screwing up would have helped fill the void of Nasdaq’s voice and perhaps tempered some of the attacks by Nasdaq’s clients and thus, the media.

Nasdaq followed its apology by offering a sort of reimbursement package to clients that lost money from the mistakes made with the Facebook IPO.  The response was not kind.  Statements  by its clients, including Knight Capital calling it “unacceptable” and those made by rival NYSE saying it was “wholly inconsistent with fair practice” would indicate that the compensation package was conceived in a bubble. This is going to invite a lot more negative press for the exchange.

In life, when people make mistakes that hurt others, lie, cheat or steal, the best thing to do is acknowledge the error, say “sorry” and then take the appropriate steps to make the injured party whole.  In business, at least have a public relations strategy that acknowledges the issue, quickly get out and make the appropriate statements publicly and then consider key stakeholders and their responses when offering to address or compensate for those errors.  And do it quickly, not three weeks later. Three weeks is an eternity in this environment.

You’re doing a heck of a job Mr. Greifeld.